The Party Rock Fire in western North Carolina that covered more than 7,000 acres in Rutherford, Henderson and Buncombe counties is under better control, a blessing to those who live in the region and to the brave firefighters from all over the state and elsewhere who have joined in battling the blaze. Mountain fires — in this case, close to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure — are daunting beyond the obvious reasons, with uneven terrain, and in this case the dryness that resulted from a prolonged drought. Water had to be hauled in, and the fire sent some wild and dangerous animals into a frenzy.
Lake Lure is approximately 230 miles west of Raleigh. Rutherford County is roughly four hours away.
In this crisis, the courage of firefighters going in 12-hour shifts all day and all night is readily apparent. But so is the support of another kind — for the firefighters themselves, from people in the communities around the fire, serving up three meals a day and gathering up supplies.
The full-time residents of these areas are worried, of course, about their livelihoods once the fire subsides. Residents, however, have transferred their worry where it belongs, to these individuals of great courage who put on their heavy coats and gloves and helmets and go into the blaze.