Virginia’s Rocky Mountain Wildfire Increases In Acreage | Update 6

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The Rocky Mountain Wildfire started as one fire on April 16, around 1300 hours.  A small fire the size of 200 acres began to head towards a second fire 25+ acres in size, eventually merging into one large fire.  By nightfall, the fire had grown into a 500 acre fire – and, the rest is history.

It is located within the Shenandoah National Park and in Luray, Virginia.

photo from space showing a close view of the burned area and active fire edges with labels

Photo Credit: NASA

Several days ago, it had reached 2094 .  By April 21st, the fire exploded  four times that into 8,952 consumed acres.  Today, Sunday, April 24, 2016, the fire is currently holding at the same acreage but now has a 43% containment status.

Fire fuels consist of mountain laurel, pine and oak forests with heavier than normal leaf litter and duff.

Firefighters

Fire Photo. Photo Credit: A. Williams, NPS

FIRE STATUS:

An overnight flight by helicopter by National Park Police using an infrared fire mapping system found a 200 acre location along the fire perimeter containing a section where it’s currently holding residual embers.

Smoke rises across a ridge in the background

Photo Credit: Jennifer Rabuck/NPS

In the location 3 miles of Madison Run Road, the upper half of the fire, crews were able to prepare the area for a possible contingency fire line if needed due to increased humidity, rainfall of .014″ and lower temps.

Rocky Mtn Fire.

Photo Credit: A. Williams, NPS

Overall, fire crews have been able to now go into mop-up operations along with extending the fire line.

In the upper section of the area, crews were able to prepare for a future contingency fire line if needed.

The lower half of the area crews completed and/or prepared lines for possible burnout operations.

Photo Credit:  NASA

Photo Credit: NASA

Fire remains active and backing in the interior and on the Southern portion.  Crews have successfully gained a 43% containment status.  There is no exact estimated date at the moment on when it will reach a 100% containment status but firefighters are working tirelessly to gain full control of the fire.

Virginia State Gov. Terry McAuliffe thanks all fire personnel.  Photo Credit: Rita Baysinger/NPS

Virginia State Gov. Terry McAuliffe thanks all fire personnel. Photo Credit: Rita Baysinger/NPS

PERSONNEL

Previously there were over 100 firefighters but as the fire rages on, personnel has increased to 342 attached to this fire incident.  As of today, the numbers have reached 347 personnel with a noteworthy mention that these fire crews represent 33 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

 

Helicopter

Photo Credit: L. Wilkolak/NPS

RESOURCES

Resources on the fire ground are:  (2) medium helicopters, (2) light helicopters, (2) fixed wing SEATs, (11) engines, (1) dozer, and (2) Air Attack / Lead Planes.

Incident Cooperators are from the National Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, Rockingham County Department of Fire & Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Grottoes Volunteer Fire Department.

 

New Fire Map. Photo Courtesy:  Inciweb

New Fire Map. Photo Courtesy: Inciweb

NO DRONES IN FIRE ZONES

Fire suppression aircraft has had to be grounded as drones have been present during this incident.  Fire Managers would like to remind those with drones that if you fly, they cannot putting lives and property in jeopardy.

Because of this large of a fire, a TFR [Temporary Flight Restriction] has been placed over this fire until further notice.  Please do not heed Firefighting air resources by breaking the TFR and putting the pilots lives in danger.

CLOSURES

The following trails and roads have been closed due to this fire incident:

  • Appalacian Trail
  • Skyline Drive
  • Rockytop Trail
  • Brown Gap Fire Rd
  • Madison Run Fire Rd
  • Rocky Mount Trail
  • Big Run Trail
  • Austin Mountain Trail
  • Onemile Run Trail
  • Lewis Peak Trail
  • Brown Mountain Trail
  • Patterson Ridge Trail
  • Madison Run Spur
  • Doyles River Cabin
  • Furnance Mountain Trail
  • Troyfoot Mountain Trail
  • Blackrock Trail
  • Doyles River Trail
  • Jones River Trail
  • Rocky Mountain Run Trail

IMPORTANT FIRE INFO

If you have concerns or questions regarding the fire, please call the fire information office. 540-999-2152.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Hashtags being used for this fire are:

  • #RockyMountainFire
  • #RockyMountfire
  • #VirginiaFires2016
  • #ShenandoahNF

Our Social Media platforms that you can find us at:

  • Twitter – @nwfireblog
  • Facebook – The NW Fire Blog
  • Flickr

 

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