Near Thrasher’s Lake
Amherst County, Virginia
Updated 12 noon – November 21, 2016
Information from US Forest Service in Roanoke regarding Mt Pleasant fire in Amherst:
Via US Forest Service regarding Amherst wildfire:
Wildfire Burning in Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area
Natural Bridge, Va. – 11/21/2016 – The USDA Forest Service is working with the Virginia Department of Forestry to contain a wildfire burning on the George Washington National Forest and private land in and around the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area in Amherst County.
The fire is estimated to be 1200 acres in size. Strong winds and low humidity contributed to the rapid spread of the fire on Sunday. The fire is located north of Thrashers Creek.
Firefighters are building hand and dozer lines to contain the fire and a helicopter is dropping water with the priority on areas south of the fire where structures are threatened. Approximately 70 firefighters and support staff including two wildland engines, a dozer and 2 aircraft are assigned to this incident with additional resources being mobilized.
Thrasher’s Creek Road (SR) 617 is closed at Molly’s Mountain due to firefighting activities. Local traffic will be permitted.
As a result of the fire the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area is closed to public entry including the following roads and trails:
• Hog Camp Gap Road (FR #48) from Hog Camp Gap to Salt Log Gap
• North Fork of Buffalo Road (FR #51)
• Coon Bridge Road (FR #1167)
• Appalachian Trail (FT #1) from Long Mountain Wayside to Salt Pond Gap
• Old Hotel Trail (FT #515)
• Henry Lanum Trail (FT #702)
• Mt. Pleasant Trail (FT #704)
• and trailheads associated with these trails.
The fire was discovered on Saturday evening. The cause is under investigation.
There is currently a fire ban on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests to maintain public safety and protect forest resources during extreme drought. Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire is prohibited on National Forest lands outside of developed recreation areas. For more information regarding the fire ban contact your local Ranger District office or visit the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/gwj.
Crews continue their fight this Sunday against a wildfire in Amherst County. Many of our Facebook friends have posted saying they still see thick smoke Sunday morning as far north as Lowesville and continue seeing fire on the mountainside.
According to a story posted by ABC-13 on Saturday evening:
“When firefighters arrived, they located the fire on Big Mt. Pleasant, in a remote area of the US Forest Service property. The Amherst County fire department warns that residents in the area along with people traveling on Route 60 will see a great deal of smoke due to the fire and windy conditions.”
Extremely high winds and very dry conditions are working against firefighters as they battle the blaze.
A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect all day ask day for very high fire danger across the area.