Home Update: Six wildfires continue to burn in national forests in West Virginia, Virginia
Climate, Virginia

Update: Six wildfires continue to burn in national forests in West Virginia, Virginia

Crystal Graham
(© Fernando Astasio Avila – Shutterstock)

There are six wildfires burning in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests on state and private land in West Virginia and Virginia. The public should avoid areas with active fire to allow firefighters to work safely.

Virginia’s burning law remains in effect until April 30. It bans open-air burning before 4 p.m. if the fire is within 300 feet of the woods or dry grass which could carry fire to the woods. Burning is allowed between 4 p.m. and midnight as long as the burner takes proper precautions and attends the fire at all times.

Waterfall Mountain/Shenandoah Forest/211 Fire

  • 6,206 acres
  • 20 percent contained

Firefighters have tied the west side of the fire into a previous burn area. They will monitor and mop up the fire line today. Crews will continue to construct containment lines on the south and east sides, cold trail and put in line where possible to secure those edges. They will also scout for green pockets. Helicopter operations could continue along the northeast portion of the fire. The Virginia Department of Forestry is managing the east side of the fire, north and south of U.S. 211.

Waites Run Fire

  • 3,760 acres
  • 0 percent contained

Firefighters have completed work on the southwest side of the fire. Crews will look for opportunities to east side of the fire to tie those lines into roads. That could open up a possible green area that may need to be burned out in the next few days. Aircraft will continue to work on that fire today. Hemlocks remain a concern. Expert fellers are being brought in to cut those trees down as a burning tree fell yesterday.

Capon/Brush Run Fire

  • 2,559 acres
  • 45 percent contained

Heavy fuels continue to smolder in the fire’s interior. Firefighters today will check the dozer line on the north side of the fire, as well as for green pockets. Crews could potentially burnout those areas in the next few days after they dry out. They will also put in dozer line on the west side, check and verify the status of the east edge, and tie in with the state.

Edith Gap/Serenity Ridge Fire

  • 1,148 acres
  • 8 percent contained

Firefighters will put in dozer line along the northeast edge, as well as handline. Containment is expected to be higher tomorrow once crews have checked and secured existing lines.

Cove Mountain Fire

  • 75 acres
  • 70 percent contained

The fire is completely surrounded by handline. Firefighters continue to monitor the fire.

Runions Creek, new

  • 9 acres

Firefighters will scout the fire today and work to contain it quickly. Air attack will begin flying around 2 p.m. today to check the overall situation on the fires. The cause of the fires is undetermined but under investigation.


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.