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UPDATE : 5.7.18 : 8:00 PM – Tye River Wildland Fire

[ 0 ] May 3, 2018 |

Photo courtesy of Raphine Volunteer Fire Company. Posted Saturday morning 5.5.18

Update via US Dept of Forestry:

Tye River Wildland Fire
Monday, May 7, 2018, 8:00 PM Update

The Tye River wildland fire is located on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, approximately 3 miles east of Vesuvius in Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, VA.

The fire’s acreage is approximately 1,608 acres including 324 acres within the Saint Mary’s Wilderness. The increase in acreage occurred primarily on Friday, May 4, 2018 and is based on update mapping. The fire did not increase in size today.

The fire is currently 60 % contained. The increase in containment is due to both the ongoing work by the firefighters and the rain received over the last few days.

This fire was started from a vehicle fire on VA Hwy 56, that quickly spread northeast onto National Forest lands and nearby private lands. The fire was first reported at approximately 5:45 PM on Thursday May 3, 2018.

Restrictions and Closures

The public is asked to avoid the immediate fire area, to be alert for smoke on roadways, and to use caution around fire vehicles and firefighters working on and near roadways.

VA-56 (Tye River Road) was reopened at 8:00 pm on Sunday, May 5, between Vesuvius and the Blue Ridge Parkway as fire activity has decreased along the road. Travelers are advised to use caution traveling this steep, narrow road; and be aware of firefighters and fire equipment on the roadway.

The southern portion of Saint Mary’s Wilderness, including the Saint Mary’s River and Falls area, several trails and parking areas are temporarily closed to all public use including:

St. Marys Trail (FT #500)
St. Marys Gorge (FT #500B), including St. Mary’s Falls
Mine Bank Creek (FT #500C)
Mine Bank Mountain (FT #503)
Bald Mountain Overlook (FT #504)
St. Marys trailhead parking at the end of St. Marys River Road (FR #41)
St. Marys Wilderness south of the St. Marys River, from Groahs Ridge east to the Mine Bank Creek Trail.
Trailheads associated with these trails.
Use caution and obey all road and trail closures for your safety.

Other Fire Information

The top priority for fire managers is public and firefighter safety.

No evacuations are currently in place, or being considered.

The amount of rain received has significantly aided firefighting efforts. Fire suppression efforts will continue, and rehabilitation of firelines will begin, over the next several days.

Driving visibility may be limited in the fire vicinity due to smoky conditions. Area residents and visitors will see and smell smoke overnight and for the next several days.

Fire managers and firefighters appreciate the support shown by residents and the local communities.

Resources on the Fire

Approximately 131 firefighters and support staff, including 5 hand crews, 5 wildland engines, 2 dozers, and 1 helicopter are assigned to this incident. These resources are from throughout Virginia and several other states.

The fire now is being managed by the U.S. Forest Service as a Type 3 incident by Incident Commander Josh Graham.

Cooperators include Virginia Department of Forestry, Augusta County Fire and Rescue, Rockbridge County Fire and Rescue, several local volunteer fire departments, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Firefighter Emphasis

Firefighters are continuing to patrol and mop-up along the firelines, and begin fireline rehabilitation efforts.

Small portions of the fire will remain unstaffed within Saint Mary’s Wilderness due to inaccessibility and rugged terrain. This area is being routinely monitored by ground and air resources. There will be a coordinated response if fire activity increases.

Updated 5.6.18 via US DOF:

“Location

The Tye River Fire is located on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, approximately 3 miles east of Vesuvius.

Counties

Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, VA
Estimated Acreage
Approximately 1,608 acres, including approximately 324 acres within the Saint Mary’s Wilderness. Increase in acreage occurred primarily on Friday 5/4 and is based on updated mapping. The fire did not increase in size today.
Containment
The fire is currently 45% contained. The increase in containment is due to both the ongoing work by the firefighters and the rain received last night and today.
Cause and Date Started

The cause of this fire was a vehicle fire on VA Hwy 56, that quickly spread northeast onto National Forest lands and nearby private lands. The fire was first reported at approximately 5:45 PM on Thursday May 3, 2018.

Resources on the Fire
Approximately 131 firefighters and support staff, including 5 hand crews, 5 wildland engines, 2 dozers, and 1 helicopter are assigned to this incident. These resources are from throughout Virginia and several other states.
Cooperators
The fire is being managed under unified command by the Virginia Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service as a Type 3 incident by Incident Commanders Patti Nylander (VDOF) and Josh Graham (USFS). Cooperators include Augusta County Fire and Rescue, Rockbridge County Fire and Rescue, several local volunteer fire departments, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Restrictions and Closures

The public is asked to avoid the immediate fire area, to be alert for smoke on roadways, and to use caution around fire vehicles and firefighters working on and near roadways.
VA-56 (Tye River Road) was reopened at 8:00pm on Saturday, May 5, between Vesuvius and the Blue Ridge Parkway as fire activity has decreased along the road. Travelers are advised to use caution traveling this steep, narrow road; and be aware of firefighters and fire equipment on the roadway.

Restrictions and Closures
(Continued)
The southern portion of Saint Mary’s Wilderness, including the Saint Mary’s River and Falls area, several trails and parking areas are temporarily closed to all public use including:
• St. Marys Trail (FT #500)
• St. Marys Gorge (FT #500B), including St. Mary’s Falls
• Mine Bank Creek (FT #500C)
• Mine Bank Mountain (FT #503)
• Bald Mountain Overlook (FT #504)
• St. Marys trailhead parking at the end of St. Marys River Road (FR #41)
• St. Marys Wilderness south of the St. Marys River, from Groahs Ridge east to the Mine
Bank Creek Trail.
• And trailheads associated with these trails.
Use caution and obey all trail and area closures for your safety.
Firefighting Emphasis
Firefighters are continuing fireline construction and improvement efforts that began on Thursday, May 4. Protection of the private lands and structures at risk near the fire are high priorities. Small portions of the fire will remain unstaffed within Saint Mary’s Wilderness due to inaccessibility and rugged terrain. This area will be actively monitored by ground and air resources. A coordinated response will be implemented if fire activity increases.

Fire weather

Rain amounts totaling between 0.10-0.20 inches were received across the fire today. This rain, along with rain received last night, resulted in decreased fire behavior today.
Wet conditions do add concerns for firefighters due to slippery ground conditions.
Other Fire Information
The top priority for fire managers is public and firefighter safety.
No evacuations are currently in place, or being considered.
The amount of rain received has significantly aided firefighting efforts. Fire suppression efforts will continue, and rehabilitation of firelines will begin, over the next several days.
Driving visibility may be limited in the fire vicinity due to smoky conditions. Area residents and visitors will see and smell smoke overnight and for the next several days.
Fire managers and firefighters appreciate the support shown by residents and the local communities.
The next fire update will be available Monday, May 7th by approximately 7:00 pm. There will NOT be a morning Wildfire Update in the future.”

Updated 9:30 PM Via VDOT:

“ROUTE 56 HAS REOPENED IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY

STAUNTON – (9:30 p.m.) Route 56 (Tye River Turnpike) in Rockbridge County has reopened. Route 56 was closed on May 3 from Route 608 (South Bottom Road) and the Nelson County line. The roadway closure was due to a forest fire.”

Virginia traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.

Update on the mountain fire – Update via Raphine Volunteer FD Saturday evening 5.5.18 7:35 PM EDT

1600 acres have burned, 10% contained at this time. Rt. 56 will remain closed until 9pm tonight and st. Mary’s will remain closed at this time

Update via Raphine Volunteer FD – Saturday morning 5.5.18 9:20 AM EDT

Fire didn’t move much last night so they are still looking at about 1000 acres. The containment is unknown at the time of briefing. Rt 56 will remain closed until 7pm and then it will be reevaluated.

Update via Raphine Volunteer FD – Friday afternoon 5.4.18:

“Just finished briefing with the forestry dept. There are about 1000 acres burned with 0% containment. Today was about holding instead of containing. More resources from around the country are on their way. Saint Mary’s is closed along with 56 at this time.”

Updated 8:45 AM Friday 5.4.18

ROUTE 56 REMAINS CLOSED IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY

 STAUNTON – (8:45 a.m.) Route 56 (Tye River Turnpike) in Rockbridge County remains closed between Route 608 (South Bottom Road) and the Nelson County line. The roadway has been closed since Thursday evening due to a forest fire.

Route 56 will remain closed until at least noon Saturday, May 5, when the United States Forest Service will re-evaluate the fire. Motorists are advised to avoid this area due to firefighting operations.

Virginia traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at http://www.VirginiaDOT.org.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Earlier post:

ROUTE 56 CLOSED IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY

STAUNTON – (7:45 p.m.) A portion of Route 56 (Tye River Turnpike) in Rockbridge County is closed due to a forest fire. This closure is between the Nelson County line and the intersection of Route 608 (South Bottom Road) near the community of Vesuvius.

The closure of Route 56 is expected to remain in place for at least 12 hours. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes if they had planned to use Route 56 Thursday night or Friday morning (May 3-4).

Virginia traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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