Natural Bridge, Virginia
December 2, 2016
“The USDA Forest Service worked with the Virginia Department of Forestry and a Montana Type 3 Incident Management Team, to contain the wildfire burning on the George Washington National Forest and private land in and around the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area in Amherst County.
The final acreage of the fire is 11,229 acres in size. The combination of good initial response, good interagency cooperation and moderating winds contributed to the successful outcome. No structures were lost and only one firefighter reported a minor injury. The cooperation of the community and its residents was appreciated by all those involved in the suppression efforts.
All closures have been rescinded and the area is now open to recreation again. Please be aware that some hazards remain as a result of the fire. Trees that have been burned and damaged will continue to fall for some time. Use extra caution when accessing the forest in the coming weeks. Smoke will continue to come from the interior for some time. Interior smokes do not need to be reported, they will burn out over the next few days/weeks. Exercise care within the burned area.
As of December 2, 2016: All roads and trails in the area are now open.
As of December 2, 2016: The Appalachian Trail is now open.
The fire ban is still in place for 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.”