April 13, 2012

Fire on the Mountain

View from Conicville, VA
On our drive home Sunday night I saw the fire from Columbia Furnace. It looked like a hilltop in the distance had an aurora of flames! Later that night I saw a picture on Facebook that matched what I saw, and an explanation that the fire was in the National Forest at Wolf Gap.

Unfortunately, firefighters still haven't succeeded in extinguishing the fire. I took the first two pictures on Tuesday and today we could still see smoke coming from the same area.

The Forest Service has closed Wolf Gap Campground and several trails, plus Wolf Gap Road is closed for the duration of the fire. It's the shortest route to West Virginia for some people so this will be quite inconvenient. Crooked Run Road is not a good option because it's even narrower and the pavement is not maintained after you cross the state line. So residents must either drive south to 259 or north to 55 to cross Great North Mountain.

I read that the fire was caused by ashes from a campfire dumped on the ground by a careless camper.

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