GLEN JEAN, WV (WVNS) — The Steep Valley Fire is up to 2,206 acres and remains 78 percent contained as of Wednesday evening, November 15, 2023.

Pockets of smoke in the gorge were caused by minimal fire activity on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, and the minimal fire activity means that air quality levels are estimated to be in the good to moderate range.

The fire is still burning in the remote War Ridge and Backus Mountain areas of the park in steep, rugged, and inaccessible terrain, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Steep Valley Fire Photo Thursday, November 16, 2023- NRGPP Facebook- Photo Courtesy- NPS Photo- Kathleen Smoot

Crews will keep an eye on existing fire lines since the fire activity is expected to stay minimal. Firefighters will continue to make tactical decisions such as strengthening current fire lines to strategically burn out pockets of fuel. There has only been one minor firefighter injury so far.

We appreciate all the dedicated crews and the countless hours they have put in while working the fire. We will continue to monitor the fire and focus on firefighter safety. We would like to thank the community for their hospitality, support, and patience since the beginning of this challenging fire, it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Nate Orsburn | Incident Commander Trainee for the Steep Valley Fire

A closure order is still in place for National Park Service lands that are bounded by the New River on the south and west to the town of Quinnimont, due east along State Highway 41 to the intersection of Backus-Red Spring road, then continues directly south to the CSX railroad right of way at the river. However the rest of the park is open for the usual hours of operation.

More information about the fire, smoke and air quality reports, and drone information can be found here.

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