Smoke Hole Emergency Closure to be Lifted - 11/22/2013

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Smoke Hole Emergency Closure to be Lifted - 11/22/2013

Forestry Service and WV Forestry

November 22, 2013
For more information please contact the Cheat-Potomac Ranger Station in Petersburg, WV: 304-257-4488
Division of Forestry Public Information Officer, Leslie Fitzwater Smithson, 304-957-9342

On Sunday morning, November 24, 2013, the public will be free to enter the National Forest System (NFS) lands affected by the Smoke Hole Fire closure on the Monongahela National Forest.  The Smoke Hole Emergency Closure was put into effect on November 13, 2013 to provide for public and firefighter safety while working to contain the wildfire and rehabilitate the area.  As of Friday, November 22, 2013, the 1,611 acre Smoke Hole Fire was fully contained.  Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson will authorize public access to the affected NFS lands effective 12:00 A.M. Sunday morning.

Visitors to the area should be aware that there are still ongoing monitoring and fire patrol efforts.  While the majority of firefighters have gone home, several crews, engines, and a helicopter continue to work in the area.  “We have made great progress on the post-fire rehabilitation and we truly appreciate all of the cooperation and support we’ve received throughout this incident.  I am extremely pleased at the work that has been done, both safely and ahead of schedule.” shared Cheat-Potomac District Ranger Troy Waskey.