Field to go up in flames near the New River - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters burn field in Summer County

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The National Park Service announced on Tuesday, April 2 that there will be a proscribed burn near the Sandstone Visitor's center on Wednesday, April 3.

Firefighters will be setting fire to a five acre grassy section of the hillside in front of the visitors center.  The area is located near the southern end of the New River Gorge National River off of Interstate-64's Exit 139.

The aim of the burn is to discourage tree growth in the field areas, while making room for native grasses and plants.  According to the Nation Park Service, the area surrounding the Sandstone Visitor's Center features grasses, trees, shrubs and wildflowers that are all native to West Virginia.

Robin Snyder with the National Park Service said that the Sandstone Visitor's Center will be closed during the burn.  The parking lot at the center will also be closed.  Officials do not expect the fire to interfere with traffic flow on Summers County Road #7.  When the burn is over the visitor's center will reopen.  Hours for the Sandstone Visitor Centers are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7-days a week.

The Green Sulphur District Volunteer Fire Department will be assisting with the burn which is expected to begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.  Officials said that the burn is not expected to take very long.