Rain didn’t stop fire on famous Cold Mountain in NC as blaze spreads to 200 acres

Mark Price

A weekend of relentless rain did little to extinguish the massive fire atop North Carolina’s rugged Cold Mountain, which was made famous in a popular novel and film.

It was stills smoldering Tuesday, Nov. 26.

The fire was found Nov. 21 and the U.S. Forest Service estimates it now covers 200 acres, according to a Facebook post. The cause remains a mystery.

“Despite two inches of rainfall throughout the area on Saturday, the Cold Mountain fire continues to burn,” the U.S. Forest Service posted late Sunday.

“Firefighters will remain on site to monitor conditions and take necessary action to protect structures throughout nearby communities. Drying trends are forecast for the next several days.”

Smoke from the fire is visible more than 10 miles away on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to the National Park Service.

The mountain is in the Shining Rock Wilderness and the Forest Service said Tuesday the area east of Deep Gap within site remains closed due to the fire.

Investigators say the fire was first reported at about 3 a.m. Thursday, and 30 firefighters have joined the fight to keep flames away from homes and other structures.

“This incident has been fairly complex for a small fire because it involves Designated Wilderness Area in close proximity to private residences,” the Forest Service said on Facebook.

Shining Rock Wilderness, located 150 miles west of Charlotte, encompasses more than 18,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, according to the Forest Service.

Cold Mountain was a key location in Charles Frazier’s 1997 best-selling novel “Cold Mountain,” about “a wounded Confederate soldier’s harrowing journey through western North Carolina to reunite with his beloved,” according to The News & Observer. The movie wasn’t filmed in North Carolina, reports Romantic Asheville.

“Millions more fans came to love these characters – Inman and Ada – in the 2003 award-winning film adaptation starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger,” The N&O reported.