Rockbridge & Augusta County, VA
Click here for earlier stories on this fire when it started in early May.Release info below from US Forest Service:
May 11, 2018 7:00 pm
The Tye River Fire is located on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, approximately 3 miles east of Vesuvius.
Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, VA
Approximately 1,716 acres, including approximately 432 acres within the St. Mary’s Wilderness. This slight growth in size occurred within St. Mary’s Wilderness near Big Spy Mt. and is due to the warm temperatures and drier conditions.
The fire is currently 60% contained. No structures are threatened at this time.
Cause and Date Started
The cause 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 59 firefighters and support staff, including 2 hand crews, 3 wildland engines, 3 dozers, and 2 helicopter are currently assigned to this incident. These resources are from throughout Virginia and several other states.
The fire is being managed by the U.S. Forest Service as a Type 4 incident by Incident Commander Jason Hattersley.
Cooperators include Blue Ridge Parkway-National Park Service, 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.
Restrictions and Closures
Travelers on VA Hwy 56 between Vesuvius and the Blue Ridge Parkway are advised to use caution traveling this steep narrow road and be aware of firefighters, fire equipment and other road improvement equipment.
Restrictions and Closures
All trails within Saint Mary’s Wilderness are now open EXCEPT Mine Bank Mountain Trail (FT #503) which remains CLOSED.
The public, including hikers, are not allowed off designated trails in the portion of St. Mary’s Wilderness that is south of St. Mary’s Trail (FT #500) and west of Mine Bank Creek Trail(FT #500C).
Use caution and obey all trail and area closures for your safety.
Firefighters are continuing to patrol and mop-up along the firelines. Fireline rehabilitation efforts are still underway.
Small portions of the fire will remain unstaffed within Saint Mary’s Wilderness due to inaccessibility and rugged terrain.
This area is still being routinely monitored by ground and air resources. There will be a coordinated response if fire activity increases.
The top priority for fire managers is public and firefighter safety.
Please be extra careful traveling in the area this weekend with heightened recreational visitors and firefighters sharing the roadways.
Blue Ridge Parkway travelers, area residents and visitors can expect to see and smell smoke.
Fire rehabilitation efforts and monitoring current perimeter will continue over the next several days. Helicopter bucket drops are also being utilized when needed to keep fire activity at a low to moderate level.
Fire behavior may increase moderately due to forecasted higher temperatures and dry conditions.
Fire managers and firefighters appreciate the support shown by residents and the local communities.
The next fire update will be available as changes in fire activity occur.