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Award winning Southern Author Rose Senehi, author of “Catching Fire” a novel of the Party Rock Fire. Her appearance is sponsored by the Bald Mountain Book club.
With over twenty fires ranging in the North Carolina mountains, how does an emergency response network pushed to the breaking point respond to a fire threatening to devour four mountain communities? In Senehi’s ninth novel, she chronicles the infamous Party Rock Fire of Nov. 2016 that, before it was finally contained at 7,171 acres, raged for fourteen days, reached into three counties, threatened 1,200 homes, and was responsible for what is considered the largest call for mutual aid the state of North Carolina had ever seen.
Woven throughout this gripping account of this historic fire, is the tale of two firefighters in love, yet torn apart by swirling suspicions and mistrust. Annie Simms, a volunteer firefighter and biologist striving to stave off bat extinction, becomes embroiled in the fight against the Party Rock Fire, thrusting her family into a struggle with its haunting past and the terrifying present. “This was a story that deserved to be told and couldn’t be made up,” said Senehi. “The facts are almost implausible: 500 wildland firefighters and 500 structural firefighters all battling the fire on four fronts at one time; the fire exploding into the US Forest Service’s number one priority in the country for seven days; smoke-jumpers from a Navajo reservation, upon hearing the howls from a mountain wolfdog sanctuary, breaking into a traditional wolf dance; firefighters from Wake County, NC, who’d never seen a forest fire before, solemnly loading on a bus in Raleigh headed for the mountains after a prayer from the county’s emergency management head that they all come back the same as they had left.
Coming to aid of the NC Forest Service who managed the Party Rock Fire were over 250 NC Rangers, 23 wildland crews from 27 states, and 225 fire companies from throughout North Carolina.
Rose Senehi, formerly of Murrells Inlet, SC, now lives in Chimney Rock, N.C. Catching Fire is the sixth novel in her Blue Ridge series of “stand-alone” books. Among them, Render Unto the Valley was awarded a 2012 IPPY Gold Medal for Fiction. Dancing on Rocks was awarded the 2014 Indi-Reader Discovery Award for Popular Fiction. In the Shadows of Chimney Rock was nominated for the 2009 SIBA Book Award. The Wind in the Woods, was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.