Division of Forestry Personnel on Wildfire Suppression Duty Near the Smoke Hole Fire on the Monongahela National Forest

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Division of Forestry Personnel on Wildfire Suppression Duty Near the Smoke Hole Fire on the Monongahela National Forest

UPPER TRACT, W.Va. – West Virginia Division of Forestry (DOF) staff have been on duty assisting in wildfire suppression on private land adjacent to the Monongahela National Forest in Pendleton County since the fire started Saturday, Nov. 9, according to DOF State Forester Randy Dye.

DOF personnel were the first to respond Saturday afternoon, but the fire quickly spread from the private land onto the federal property and the Smoke Hole area of the forest. U.S. Forest Service personnel are handling the fire on federal property, and DOF, working with several local volunteer fire departments, continues to provide preventive work on private property near the wildfire.

“Our people respond to all forest fires and we were first on the scene for this one, but U.S. Forestry officials took over once it crossed over onto federal land,” said Rudy Williams, DOF Region 1 Forester. “The fire is out now on the private property where it started. We have about six people working this afternoon laying a fire line with a bulldozer on the private land to prevent potential spread should the wind kick it back that way. We are in constant communications with the U.S. Forest Service, and remain committed to assisting them in any way we can.”

Williams and Forestry Specialist Rodger Ozburn are acting as liaisons to coordinate state efforts with the U.S. Forest Service during this operation. In addition to this fire, DOF staff also suppressed 45 wildfires that burned more than 1,200 acres in other parts of the state Friday through Monday, Nov. 8-11. West Virginia DOF personnel will remain on-site as long as their assistance is needed by the U.S. Forest Service.  

The U.S. Forest Service reports that the fire has consumed between 700 and 800 acres and is about 20 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon. Resources and personnel have been brought in from several states and access roads to the area of the fire have been closed.

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West Virginia Division of Forestry
www.wvforestry.com
Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Randy Dye, Director/State Forester

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News Release:  Nov. 12, 2013    

Contact:  Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov


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