Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Forest Fire in Linville Gorge---how's that for nocturnal lights!

Yesterday (Tuesday, 12Nov13) a forest fire burned on the east rim of Linville Gorge immediately south of Table Rock.  I photographed it from Wiseman's View on the west rim of the gorge from 8:37 pm until 9:13 pm when the howling winds and cold temps drove me back to the car.  Winds of 25-40 mph with much higher gusts fanned the fire and made tripod-mounted time-exposure photography difficult.  Fall's recently dropped dead leaves undoubtly added fuel to the fire.

Forest Fire on East Rim of Linville Gorge
The image shows the forest fire immediately south of Table Rock, an airplane light streak in the sky above Table Rock, the constellation ORION in the sky through the tree branches, and the lights of Lenoir & vicinity over the top of Brown Mountain in the distance.

Forest fires and brush fires were first mentioned as possible sources of BMLs in George Mansfield's 1922 USGS report.  While fires as large as this one are not likely to be mistaken for mystery lights by many folks, smaller ones such as campfires probably can be.

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