North Georgia is burning. The Rough Ridge Fire is destroying the Cohutta Wilderness area. If you read my Witch’s Path books you may recognize that name. That’s where the majority of A Witch’s Rite takes place. I have good memories of the area, and it’s very dear to so many of my friends and family.
Every day the numbers go up, but more than 21,000 acres are involved. The Cohutta Wilderness is only 37,000 acres. With no measurable rain in recent weeks, and none on the forecast, odds are the entire Cohutta will be consumed. I know when I go back it won’t look the same.
Even where I live, miles and miles away, smoke has settled over the city, making the sky hazy and breathing difficult. There’s been so much smoke around the greater Atlanta area that fire departments here have been fielding calls. The news picked up the story to inform citizens that they weren’t smelling a fire, but smoke from Rough Ridge that had settled here.
In the news it’s a fire, a bad one, uncommon in this area, and the result of a very dry summer and fall. To those of us who’ve lived in those mountains and love those mountains it’s so much more. We’re losing something beautiful, unique, and precious.