Shenandoah wildfire grows to 3,000 acres, shuts down 12 trails and Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park is on fire and the blaze is growing. The National Park Service said that 3,000 acres have been charred since the fire started on April 16, 2016. Officials don’t know what sparked the fire, but they think it was likely human-caused.

The smoke from the confusingly-named “Rocky Mount” fire could be seen on visible satellite imagery. Photos show orange-brown smoke wafting above the park and the hillsides glowing orange at night.

Skyline Drive is closed between mile 65 around Swift Run Gap and mile 79, Loft Mountain. Four miles of the Appalachian Trail are closed due to the fire, and 12 other Shenandoah trails have been closed indefinitely.

“We are stationing people around the fire and putting in containment lines, the Virginia Department of Forestry is putting in dozen lines in various places around the fire, and we’re just trying to hold it in the park,” Sally Hurlbert, a ranger with the National Park Service said. “We won’t let it get out of the park.”

“It is very steep terrain, wooded with a lot of mountain laurel so that is part of the reason why the fire is burning pretty hotly, because leaf litter and mountain laurel are, cause fire to move through an area pretty quickly,” Hurlbert said.

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Appalachian Trail reopens in Shenandoah National Park

Things are slowly returning to normal at Shenandoah National Park, where trails are starting to open back up following the Rocky Mtn Fire of 2016. According to Park Superintendent Jim Northrup, the section of the Appalachian Trail closed by the Rocky Mtn Fire 2016 has finally opened back up to hikers.

Several other trails have also been reopened, including: Furnace Mountain Trail, Trayfoot Mountain Trail, Blackrock Trail, Doyles River Trail, Jones Run Trail, Browns Gap Fire Road, Madison Run Fire Road. Also open is the Doyles River Cabin.

Details here…

 

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