State News

Chimney Rock state park to reopen after wildfires

Posted November 22

— The Chimney Rock attraction at Chimney Rock State Park reopens Friday morning.

The Rumbling Bald section of the park remains closed because of the Party Rock Fire in nearby Lake Lure, multiple media outlets reported.

The park was evacuated Nov. 11 because of the fire that had started Nov. 5. The fire has burned more than 7,000 acres.

The fire did not affect any of the Chimney Rock attraction part of the park, which has an entrance fee and includes popular hiking trails such as Hickory Nut Falls and the Outcropping Trail. That trail leads to the lookout on the top of Chimney Rock.

"This portion of the park has remained completely unharmed. We just returned to green status air quality," said Amber White, a spokeswoman for Chimney Rock. "This section was mostly closed to allow for fire traffic vehicles, and for safety."

Park employees are working to move equipment that was placed on the mountain to support firefighting efforts and clear the trails of debris that accumulated from the recent windy conditions while the park was closed.

Little evidence of the fire will be noticeable from the top of Chimney Rock Mountain since the fire burned leaf litter and debris along the ground and did not climb into the tree canopy. Park officials said.

Other state parks in western North Carolina remain closed to allow personnel to assist at the many fires in addition to the Party Rock Fire that are burning across the Nantahala National Forest in the western part of the mountains.

The other closed parks include Mount Mitchell State Park, Lake James State Park, Gorges State Park, South Mountains State Park and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area.

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