Outdoor Updates: Cold Mountain fire is now considered controlled

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Photo by: Tim Reaves

Cold Mountain fire is now considered controlled

After a rainy weekend in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the Cold Mountain fire, which began burning on November 21 in the Shining Rock Wilderness area, is under control. All of the trails in Shining Rock Wilderness area, including the trail that leads to the summit of Cold Mountain, are now open to the public.

The Cold Mountain fire was first spotted at the summit of Cold Mountain in the early hours of November 21. The fire was initially measured at 50 acres but eventually grew to 220 acres. The fire forced the closure of all trails in the Shining Rock Wilderness area. Although the trails are now reopened, hikers are advised to use caution and to look out for certain hazards, such as falling trees that were hollowed out by the fire. 

Manatee and calf rescued from Savannah River

A manatee and her calf were rescued from the Savannah River near the Imperial Sugar plant last Friday. The duo had taken up residence near the plant’s warmwater discharge into the river in order to escape the river’s cooling waters, which can kill manatees. Scheduled maintenance at the plant over Thanksgiving weekend would have disrupted the warmwater discharge, but Imperial Sugar kept staff on-site to ensure the warm water kept flowing until rescuers could step in. 

The cow manatee and the calf were both netted and transported to SeaWorld in Florida where they will hopefully be released soon. Both were reported in good condition and the calf began nursing upon arrival at SeaWorld. The rescue came just days after another cow manatee and her calf were rescued from a tidal pond at a golf course on St. Simons Island. Those manatees were in poor condition from cold stress and the calf did not survive.

Spending the holidays in Hawaii? Watch out for this aggressive shark

A 57-year-old man was paddleboarding in Maui, Hawaii Tuesday morning when a 10-12-foot-long Tiger shark took a bite out of his SUP, deflating it while he was 200 yards from shore. Another paddle boarder happened to be nearby and allowed the stranded man to hop on his board. Both paddle boarders reported that the shark was acting “very aggressively” and followed the men to shore.

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement instituted standard shark protocols and posted warning signs in the area warning those entering the waters to beware of the aggressive shark. People are advised to stay out of the ocean completely from Cove Park to Waipu’ilani Park in Kihei until authorities issue an all-clear. 

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