Smoke Hole Fire Update

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Smoke Hole Fire Update

Forestry Service and WV Forestry

November 15, 2013
For more information call:  304-257-4488 extension 28
US Forest Service Public Information Officer, Robert Beanblossom, 304-993-1862
Division of Forestry Public Information Officer, Leslie Fitzwater Smithson, 304-957-9342

  Smoke Hole area of the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest, approximately 11 miles southwest of Petersburg, in Pendleton County, WV.
Acres:  Approximately 1400 acres and 30% contained

Cause: Under investigation

Current Situation: Another safe and challenging day yesterday. Crews had a great day, improving containment and maintaining their safety record. The south end is being mopped up and patrolled; east side is cooling down nicely. Today, crews can expect continued low fuel moisture and warm weather. Firefighters will be fighting directly and aggressively on all fronts, particularly on the northern edge of the fire.

General Fire Information:
  • Safety of the public and firefighters is always the number one priority when dealing with wildfires
  • Firefighters are using direct and indirect tactics under a full suppression objective
  • No structures have been affected at this time
  • Smoke may be visible in the surrounding area for several days
Resources Assigned: The Smoke Hole Fire is cooperatively managed under a unified command structure between the WV Division of Forestry and US Forest Service.  WVDOF Regional Forester Rudy Williams is the agency’s incident commander for activities on private land; Foresters Tommy George and John Anderson are structure protection coordinators working with local VFDs; Wildland Fire Investigator Art Yagel is investigating the cause of the fire; and Fire Specialist Rodger Ozburn is providing special assistance as needed. Federal resources include: 5 Crews, 7 engines, two dozers, and a helicopter.  Area volunteer fire departments are available if needed.  Additional fire personnel and resources continue to arrive.

Closures: An emergency closure order is in place in the surrounding national forest system lands.