UPDATE: 11/8/2023, 3:53 p.m.
GRANDVIEW, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Steep Valley Fire located in the New River Gorge National Park has grown exponentially over the past few days.
Lori Hynes, an official with the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, told 12 News’ sister station, WVNS that as of 7 a.m. on Wednesday, the fire has grown from 150 to 800 acres in one day and is 0% contained.
Fire response teams are expected to scout the area throughout the day Wednesday. Officials said that the fire remains within the park and currently poses no immediate threat to buildings or the public.
The fire has required additional response from teams beyond the New River Gorge staff including crews from:
- Wayne National Forest – Ohio
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- Indiana Dunes National Park – Indiana
- White Mountain National Forest – New Hampshire
Crews from the Michigan Department of National Resources are also headed to West Virginia to “assist in fighting a mountain fire.”
According to NOAA, an area of the Appalachian Mountains, including much of the southern part of West Virginia, has the highest probability of a fire larger than 100 acres based on data from 1992-2015.
UPDATE: 11/7/2023, 5:37 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (WBOY) — More than 100 acres have burned at the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.
According to a Facebook post from the park’s official page, an estimated 130-150 acres have burned since the fire started on Nov. 6. Although the War Ridge Campground is closed, the park said that no structures are threated by the fire because it is in the remote area.
“Fire crews from New River Gorge as well as from Indiana Dunes, PA state, and National Forest Service are on scene and will be trying to contain this fire over the next few days,” said the post.
Haze from the fire is visible throughout the park, including on the West Virginia 511 traffic camera in the area.
ORIGINAL: 11/7/2023, 3:20 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (WBOY) — The National Park Service has issued an alert to the public about a wildfire that has closed a campground at the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.
According to the National Park Service’s website, a fire known as the “Steep Valley Fire” has closed the War Ridge Campground at the park. Hunters and visitors are also advised to avoid the War Ridge and Backus Mountain areas until further notice.
Data reported by the National Interagency Fire Center says that approximately 50 acres have been burned in the area of the park and that the fire has been contained as of around 2 a.m. Data from NASA also confirmed that the fire began on Nov. 6.
On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a special weather statement warning of increased fire danger across West Virginia. The U.S. Division of Forestry also reported on Monday that more than 2,000 acres have been burned recently in West Virginia.