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The Header Picture is a gorgeous ROSE named Princesse deMonaco (I call her Princess). She is one of our 2017 ROSES in our Yard.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Follow Up to my Blog Post today about the Gatlinburg Fires

Dollywood was spared in the Gatlinburg Fires   (Internet photo)
Be sure to read my other post first  (click HERE)  --- and you may even have more comments/questions.

I decided to write this 'follow-up' talking more about some of your comments and questions.  Here are some additional thoughts.

1.  I'm not sure how they caught the juveniles who set the fire ---but they DID.   Since they are juveniles,  we have heard NOTHING else about them --who they are,  where they are from,  etc.  Since they are being 'tried' as juveniles,  I'm not sure IF we will ever hear anything about them.  For the life of me,  I cannot understand why they set that fire.... Of course,  they probably had no idea what would happen.  Wonder if they regret doing what they did now?  I HOPE SO.  

I know that, as a Christian,  we are taught to have understanding and forgiveness...  I do forgive them --but will NEVER forget what they did.

2. I read that all of the historical cabins in the Smokies were saved... I'm sure they put a priority on saving that history ---and George and I think that the Ogle Cabin and Barn could easily have been destroyed except for the work of hard-working firefighters --who were there to spray water on the cabins and keep the embers from jumping onto roofs.... Thanks for our firefighters...

3.  There IS so much love, faith, compassion and forgiveness coming from the people who live or lived in and around the Gatlinburg area.  It is amazing how a tragedy brings people together..

Seeing the people of Gatlinburg working so hard to make a living for themselves and others  made me think about all of the people in our country who are not working and who (many of them) are out there protesting one thing or another.  I wish all of those people would put their energies into helping the people of Gatlinburg (and many other places around our country) who so desperately need help.

4.   Yes---our woods will come back.... I know about controlled burns ---since we see them frequently.   Controlled Burns are GOOD for the woods..   Things will come back --will even be healthier!!!!

5.  Gatlinburg is a small mountain town sitting RIGHT up against the mountains.   People have built homes or cabins all over those mountain ranges...  Since one cannot built inside the national parks,  there's not many areas left in and around Gatlinburg...  Since tourism is such a booming business there,  the growth has happened on the north and eastern sides of Gatlinburg  (in areas around Pigeon Forge,  Sevierville and Cosby).

Sometimes,  as an old-timer who just loves the mountains and who doesn't love the water-slides and other tourist shows and entertainment areas,   I am sorry that so many cabins have been built in such a small area.  Disasters happen ---and this was the 'perfect storm' for a little place like Gatlinburg.

6. This fire storm happened SO quickly --and there really wasn't much time for people to prepare or in many cases even LEAVE for safety.  The embers were jumping from area to area --and once the storm got to an area,  it would QUICKLY just burn everything in its path as it barreled down that mountain range into a 'holler' where there were many homes/cabins.

But--as I said,  we would see one house burned to the ground and the house next door wasn't touched...  The fire just jumped around depending upon the winds....

7. I hope that Liene is correct when she said that some of the charred trees (that I pictured)  will or may come back...  I hope so... I do know that some trees are much more resilient than others... George and I will go back to that area around the Ogle Cabin in a year ---and I'll let you know what we find...

8. Linda (Behold the Beauty),  I know how much you also love the Smokies... I am anxious to see the Roaring Forks area --once they open it up in the Spring... I'll keep you posted.   I will tell you that the trail to Rainbow Falls was OPEN ---so that is good news.   (By the way,  you two need to get down this way soon so that you can have some closure after seeing the area..)



Thanks for your comments.. They mean so much to me!!!!!
Hugs,

24 comments:

George said...

Thanks for the update.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Thank you for this follow-up, Betsy! The firefighters are our heroes! Many die each year trying to keep us safe, just like policemen. What a vicious fire! I wonder if it was an accident? They must have done it on purpose or they would not be arrested. I cannot imagine how many animals and birds also died in the fire, since it was so sudden and dependent on the wind.

Betsy said...

Thank you so much for telling us the recent news on the fires. As you know, we deal with a lot of wild fires up here in Washington and I know that the firefighters risk everything to save property and lives. Take care my friend.
Blessings, Betsy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It is heartbreaking to see the forests burn but I know it comes back...after a few years and it can be a healthy thing. I'm sorry to see structures and homes lost though and the risk of the brave firefighters. What a shame...I hope those kids learn a lesson. Thanks for the excellent post. I love the mountains too! Hugs, Diane

Lowcarb team member said...

Goodness that picture tells it all ...
I did go back and read your previous post, then came back and read this one. Firefighters do an amazing job.
Nature will re-grow, but it is always so very sad to see such destruction.

Many thanks for the update

All the best Jan

Fun60 said...

Deliberate destruction is something I don't understand. Thanks for updating us on what happened. Thankfully you have speedy and brave firemen.

Rose said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts, Betsy. What I wonder about the places that survived is how will they ever get rid of the smell? I would think that that would be hard to remove.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Thanks for sharing this update.I totally agree that those who have nothing better to do than protest, ought to be working to help others or perhaps even themselves.

The Furry Gnome said...

Having been to Gatlinburg, we were very sad to watch the news at the time. I know the firefighters did their best. They deserve so much credit.

Nancy Chan said...

Thank you for updates concerning your earlier post. Since they are juveniles, I do hope by now they understand the damage and harm they had done to others and that they will repent and grow up to be more responsible people. Its wonderful and with much appreciation how the firefighters have risked their lives to protect lives and properties as much as they can. It is touching to know how people come together to help one another pick up the pieces and continue on their lives after such a tragedy. Have a good day!

linda m said...

Thank you for the update. Since I have visited Gatlinburg years ago, I was devastated about the fire and was so fearful that it would be totally destroyed - at least the way the news people talked it would be. The way the people of Gatlinburg and other tragedies come together and help each other restores my faith in humanity. May God bless all of them.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Thanks for the follow-up, Betsy. We do hope to get down there soon.

Liene said...

And to follow-up on your follow up... Pines especially are adapted to fire. The black on their trunks is just the very outer layer of bark, which is specially designed to act as insulation to the sensitive layers inside. Trees that had previous damage (catfaces, scars, etc) and had pine sap present, will have burned hotter and longer. This is more dangerous for the tree as the heat will penetrate the outer protective layer. The worst though, is when the fire is so intense that the canopy is scorched. You'll be surprised at how much a pine can handle, but that's also counting on the fact we don't have another summer of drought. Hardwoods are an entirely different story, and they also handle fire differently. Some species (like oaks) count on low intensity fire to clear out competitors and will survive most low-burning fires unless there are fuels built up against the trunk that keep burning once the main fire has passed. Fire ecology is a fascinating topic, and I could keep going for days - but I won't, since I've already delivered a rather lengthy lecture! Thank you for your vocal support of prescribed fire, it's an invaluable management tool in the southern Appalachian forests!

Jeevan said...

A disaster truly brings out the humane in all of us and from the historic flood in 2015 and last year’s cyclone has taught us many things here and people leaning each other is bliss indeed. Yes, things can be forgivable at certain levels but forgetting is not possible. My wishes for the people out there

Arkansas Patti said...


That first picture is just plain frightening. The loss of property is dreadful but the loss of life horrific. Those boys will need forgiveness as their confinement punishment will only last till they are 21 but they will have to live the rest of their lives with the dreadful weight of those 14 lives lost and of the families that will be with out loved ones. The survivors and those boys have my prayers.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

The trees should return. We had that big wild fire here last winter and it bounced back over the summer and looks better already.

Ann Thompson said...

Thanks for the follow up on this

Connie said...

Thanks for the answers to these questions, Betsy. I imagine it was quite hard for you to visit there after the fire when you have so many memories of the area.

Kay G. said...

Thank you for this post. Let's hope that nature will reclaim much of what was lost. God be with those who are hurting from this tragedy. x

Pat Tillett said...

It is nice that you can forgive, but in cases like this, I can't. Further, I REALLY wish that arson was a capital offense. Talk about terrorism!
Scary scary stuff! Thanks for giving us the information that we never see on the news.

Linda said...

Thanks for your take on this disaster. I followed the story but could not bear to read the details! I have lived in the mountains and wondered what would happen if there were a fire. So frightening!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Such a tragedy, but thank God for brave firefighters who risk their lives to save as much as they can. I don't know how they do it, I'm deathly afraid of fire. I'm happy they could save the historic cabins.
I agree that some people could put their energies to better use than protesting but I do think many of them are paid to do so. And that's all I better say about that!
Have a nice afternoon and weekend, too! xx Cheryl

Sandra Cox said...

What a horrific situation.
And I believe if a call went out, those protesters would be right there to help you.

Pam Jackson said...

I have not been able to make a trip to Gatlinburg since the fires. I was so fearful at all the damage that has been done and thankful that it was not worse. It is such a beautiful place to go and just enjoy, I have all the faith that they will rebuild and be just as beautiful. Thanks for posting.