Pray for Rain for North Carolina

The autumnal fragrance of a wood burning fire is a comforting and cozy thing when it is contained in a fireplace.  But, when I was in the kitchen yesterday and smelled burning wood, it evoked fear.   Stepping out to the veranda, this was the view.

Smoke from Wildfires ~ From My Carolina Home

That is smoke, not fog, so thick that the entire western state area is under the highest air quality alert there is for poor air.  Compare the picture to the header and you can see that the distant range is completely obscured.  Scanning the mountain around our home, I was relieved to find that our property was not the source.  Then I realized it had to be the wildfires.  Western North Carolina is under siege, battling 14 wildfires covering over 33,000 acres of our beautiful forests and mountain woodlands.   There are now mandatory evacuations in Buncombe county north of us, thankfully that area is at least 40 miles north, but a closer fire in the county east of us by about 25 miles is having voluntary evacuations near Bat Cave.  It looks the same this morning, thick smoke layer obscuring the sun, turning the sky grey.

Smoke from Wildfires ~ From My Carolina Home

It has been over two months since we had significant rainfall, and none is forecast in the next week.  Hurricane Matthew  in early October pounded the coastal region, but western NC didn’t see rain from it.  We are now in severe drought.  Those dry leaves falling from the trees onto dry ground create more than just a dull color season, it is creating disastrous burning conditions when carelessness starts a fire.  A stray ember from a campfire or a carelessly thrown cigarette from a moving car can mean tremendous loss.  We can only hope for relief from the sky.  There might be a spotty shower here and there next weekend, but you know how unreliable a seven-day out forecast can be.  So, we keep watch, try to reduce our water usage (the groundwater is down too and we have a well), and pray for rain.  Soon.

Keep the firefighters in your thoughts too.  They have come from nearby states bringing help and equipment to aid our own responder’s efforts.  Most of the fires are on national park or state park land, and I hope for safety for all the people in harm’s way.  I hope for the safety of anyone with a home near these fires.  And I am praying for rain.


33 thoughts on “Pray for Rain for North Carolina

  1. Mary C

    Praying for rain and for the safety of those impacted. Praying for firefighters, first responders and those who may lose their livelihoods as a result of the fires.

  2. BJ

    Sending good thoughts for rain, the safety and success of fire fighters, and also for your family’s safety. Having lived with a “go-bag” packed for most of the summer, it can be very scary not knowing what a simple thing like wind direction can do to your day. Please be safe.

  3. Pat Evans

    Will add my prayers. We have friends in Asheville. We were in severe drought this summer, but thankfully the rains finally came and were spread out enough to prevent flooding.

  4. Brenda Ackerman

    Good Morning Carole! Living in Southern Oregon, we have faced the same situation every year for a long time (my brain froze in memories). While we live in a mountainous area like you do, my parents and daughter live in town which is actually below sea level. When the winds are right and like this past year, or maybe the year before….there were fires in every direction and the air quality would get so bad that people such as my father who is on oxygen full time could not leave the house at all and had to turn up his level and yet still was having problems. Many people ended up at the hospital. Then when you can see the devastation of the forest fire, it really makes you cry! So, I definitely am sending prayers your way for all of the rain you need and for the safety of every one who is in harms way! How is your recovery time doing? I hope well and that you are finding things to do that you love!! Have a great day Carole!

  5. Melanie

    Holding you all in our prayers. We just got through a very scary fire season with a forest fire within 3 miles of us (carelessly caused), so are well aware of your situation. Finally we had 13″ of rain in October which helps and hope you receive the same gift and soon!

  6. Living in So. Cal., I’m fully aware of severe drought and fires. Sending positive thoughts and prayers that the North Carolina fires can soon be put out, as well as for the arrival of rain to come soon, with a good wet winter too!

  7. Neame

    Sending wet thoughts your way. And from the west where we have been having extreme fire seasons for several years now, this….be ready to flee at a moment’s notice. Pack a go bag now. Consider now what you must take with you and have it ready to go. Got a truck? Load it up now. Fires can move faster than anyone expects.
    Sending wet wet thoughts your way.

  8. Myrna

    Feeling concerned and sad for you all. We travelled your area in Nov. of 2009, was so beautiful in full colour and very fresh. I was just feeling sorry for myself, because of our rain and I couldn’t get out for a walk. What a reality check I just had. Prayers coming to NC and stay safe.

  9. PamO

    Prayers absolutely. Here on the coast on Friday, we have smelled the smoke and had hazy air. I cannot image being closer. Stay safe. Prayers for safety for all involved especially the fire fighters.

  10. Barbara Jenkins

    Sending my prayers along to you too. My brother lives in Rutherford county so I am so concerned. Pack up your essentials and keep the bag ready just in case. You will forget all you really want if you wait until the last minute.

  11. denise force

    Praying for rain ( we need it also ) or any kind of moisture ( snow??) Also for the safety of the firefighters and those in the fires path.

  12. Leslie

    Praying for rAin for you. Here in Fort McMurray Canada we had our own wildfire in the spring which saw our city of almost 90,000 people have to evacuate on one of only 2 routes away from town. We drove through burning neighbourhoods and while almost 3000 homes were lost the firefighters and first responders who worked tirelessly remarkably saved most of the homes. Our city was entirely surrounded at some point by fire and no neighbourhood entirely escaped. Smoke damage to homes and business was extensive but we are strong, resilient and will rebuild. Yes I grabbed some quilts in the few minutes I had from getting home and almost immediately having to Evacuate our home. We are so thankful our home survived and heartbroken for friends who lost everything. Our beautiful boreal forest is reduced to burnt sticks everywhere you look but the green forest carpet had returned somewhat by fall. It will be generations though to bring it back to what we lost. Thoughts and prayers for a good rainstorm for you.

  13. Linda

    I’ve been following this online. It’s the number one fear I have about living in the mountains. Sending prayers for rain.

  14. susan4cats

    So much of the country is being hit this way. I thought for a while we would be out of 5th year of drought after early rains, but they seem to have gone away. My sister in Texas says it looks like they are going into another drought. And now you guys I pray for us all and the brave firefighters.

  15. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    Will be praying for N.C. and we ask for your prayers also. My county is under a severe fire threat as well. We are getting some of the smoke

    From the mountains but it isn’t real bad yet. We could get some rain but like you it isn’t a sure thing. My heart goes out to anybody fighting a

    fire as they are so dangerous and many lives are at risk so those in the line of the fire need our prayers to.

    Haven’t gotten to make the pumpkin pie yet. I wound up in the hospital with pneumonia so I’m trying to take it easy right now and gain some of

    My strength back. I have never had it before and it really has taken me for a ride, don’t ever want to get it again!

    You and your family stay safe and indoor out of the smoke as much as possible and you all are remembered.


  16. Sharon Schipper

    I understand your worries! A sadly not-uncommon occurrence here in the west and plains, but even more jarring when where you are it isn’t common.

    When we were stationed near Savannah in the 70’s it rained every afternoon, and the black mold was to be feared. They set local fires to clear underbrush, and scared this California born woman! they laughed at me when I told them that. But the fires that happen when it’s tinder dry like this are not controlled, and destroy quickly.

    I put on a metal roof on our home in Oregon, best roof in woodsy areas just because of the fire danger. The state gov’ts here also mandate brush and fire prone plants to be cleared away from homes, several hundred yards is the standard in the forests here. Juniper bushes are particularly dangerous, they are like eucalyptus in that regard, flash burn! and home owners back away from paved roads are supposed to keep the dirt tracks cleared and accessible as well. My dad used to use his old tractor for that, grading off their dirt road back in a California canyon.

    God bless our firefighters and first responders: they run in when we run away… And Father send rain where it’s needed please, we are all uncommonly dry and need the rain… keep the residents and the workers safe, Lord.

    sharon in colorado

  17. Mary Jean Cunningham

    Absolutely praying for all! I wondered if it was anywhere near where you live. Here’s hoping for rain, and best wishes.

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