State of Emergency 25 counties Western North Carolina: arson and evacuation


Nantahala Gorge in the middle of the day.

The word among fire fighters and law enforcement is that these fires, pretty much all of them, 18 of 19, have been arson related. The papers say that the Governor declared 25 counties to be under a State of Emergency which assists in enforcing forced evacuations. As of yesterday, the last rumor I heard was that the count of arsonists captured is up to four in our area. Another rumor I heard is that two people died in one of the fires near the Nantahala gorge. I wonder if that means that the perps will also be charged with some level of murder. [Update: It was a meth lab. Such labs explode in fire all the time.]

The counties of my parish are filled with smoke. This could last for weeks unless we get a long rain to put out the fires. In visiting parishioners in the hospital today I asked a doctor if there were any cases of smoke related injuries and he said that yes, there were some already today. People are on oxygen and have asthma…

  • Some fires are started I suppose in the hopes of perpetrating insurance fraud, you know, the old trick about buying fire insurance for an old and moldy house and then setting a fire to collect money to build a new house.
  • Or maybe it’s about setting fires near the homes of feuding clans.
  • Or maybe it’s about meth-lab fires in a tent in the forests (common!).
  • Or maybe it’s about sociopaths and discontent. Fires the other year in another WNC county were suspected to be set by someone thrown off a local fire department.
  • Or maybe it’s about forcing evacuations and then going in to loot freely (not thinking law enforcement is out in strength).
  • Or maybe it’s about making the country seem out of control at election time, with these fires starting before the election.
  • Or maybe it’s just craziness and you just can’t figure out crazy because it’s crazy.

Anyway, lots of my parishioners are evacuated, many of them elderly and crippled. This is really annoying for them to live through. You fear losing everything since often the water choppers can’t fly since they can’t see anything as the smoke is so very thick.

We pray for the safety of everyone, especially of evacuees, fire-fighters, law enforcement.


Filed under Terrorism

7 responses to “State of Emergency 25 counties Western North Carolina: arson and evacuation

  1. Liz

    Oh no! Prayers for everyone, especially the elderly and the firefighters!

  2. Another of my beliefs shattered. I always thought that it was primarily the urban areas that were cauldrons of violence and danger. I thought rural areas were zones of normalcy, security and safely. What a shame. Prayers for all.

  3. Nan

    I think ultimately, no matter the other reasons on the list, it boils down to crazy is crazy; the ones you didn’t list include: clueless camper not understanding that their little campfire could create the spark that sets the wildfire; throwing cigarette but out car window while still burning. My understanding is that in recent years, in CA and AZ some of the wildfires were started by illegals, some on purpose, others out of ignorance. May St. Florian protect you.

  4. Father George David Byers

    @ nan – yep. I didn’t think of the cigarettes since I’m not a smoker. Camp fires… It seems one or two maybe but it’s bad with the arson, people lighting tires on fire with kerosene and rolling them down mountains, that kind of thing…

  5. James Anderson

    I will pray for all your people.

  6. added the people in your part of the country to my prayer list, God bless.

  7. Nan

    Lighting tires on fire and rolling them down the mountain would never occur to me. Maybe because I don’t live in the mountains and have other toys. I guess they’re the ones putting the psycho in psychopath.

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