Raleigh County, WV (WVNS) — The fire that was reported on Monday afternoon in the Grandview area of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is now being called the ‘Steep Valley Fire’ due to the steep conditions the fire is blazing through.
Though no injuries have been reported, the War Ridge campground was closed Tuesday morning due to the heavy smoke in the area.
District Supervisor for New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Dave Bieri said an estimated 150 acres have burned so far, but crews are already working to get it contained. In addition to the National Park crew, crews from Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana, Wayne National Forest in Ohio, and a state crew from Pennsylvania are on hand to assist as well.
The initial plan for containment is to use blowers to remove leaf coverage from the fire’s path, and then to dig a fire line in the cleared ground to prevent the fire from spreading.
This is the first fire on federal land in the state this fall, but not the only fire blazing. A total of 62 fires have been reported, 36 of those since Friday evening. An estimated 3,200 acres of land has been burned or is currently burning.
Crews across the state are working to get the fires under control, and are waiting eagerly for the soaking rain predicted for Friday.