Smoke Hole Fire Update - 11/19/2013

Recent Pages: Smoke Hole Fire Update - 11/19/2013

Smoke Hole Fire Update - 11/19/2013

Forestry Service and WV Forestry

November 19, 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

  The Smoke Hole Fire is in the Smoke Hole area of the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest, approximately 11 miles southwest of Petersburg, and 3 miles northeast from the community of Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County, West Virginia.  
Acres:  Approximately 1620 acres

Containment: 70% contained

Fire Cause: The Smoke Hole Fire was reported in the afternoon of Sunday November 10, 2013.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Resources on the Fire: Approximately 170 firefighters and support staff, including four crews, one module, five engines, two bulldozers, and one helicopter are assisting with the Smoke Hole Fire.

Current Situation: Crews held all fire lines yesterday despite strong, erratic winds in the afternoon.  A total of 15 miles of handline and 3 ½ of bulldozer fire line have been constructed during suppression of the fire. Fire crews today will concentrate on mopping up all burning material within 100’ of the line and begin initial rehabilitation. Preparations are underway to turn the fire over to a smaller Type Incident Management Team.

Closures: An emergency closure order is in effect on national forest system lands in the following area: Redman Run Trail (Trail #507) from the North Fork Mountain Trail (Trail #501) to Smoke Hole Road (Grant County Road 23). National Forest System Lands (NFS) in Pendleton County between Highway 28/55, Pendleton County Road 23 to Eagle Rock. NFS lands north of Dry Hollow Creek.  At the end of Dry Hollow Creek to the northeast boundary of Seneca Rocks Area.  NFS lands and Seneca Rocks Area boundary to the northwest boundary of NFS lands and Seneca Rocks on the Cheat/Potomac Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest.   

Cooperators: The Smoke Hole Fire is cooperatively managed under a unified command structure between the West Virginia Division of Forestry and US DA Forest Service.  Additional support is available from Franklin, Upper Tract, Seneca Rocks, Moorefield and Petersburg volunteer fire departments.

General Fire Information:
  • Safety of the public and firefighters is always the number one priority. Firefighters are using direct and indirect tactics under a full suppression objective.
  • No structures have been affected at this time.
  • All individuals are prohibited from entering the Federal lands within Smoke Hole Fire closure area unless specifically authorized.  The closure order will remain in effect during active fire suppression and throughout post-fire rehabilitation efforts.
  • Today will be the last fire update.  For further information contact the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District at 304-257-4488.