CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – West Virginia’s only national park is on fire, and crews from across the state are sending aid.
The fire started Wednesday, and as of Thursday morning, an estimated 200 acres of New River Gorge National Park were on fire, particularly in the Wild Rock area.
On Thursday morning, the West Virginia National Guard announced that at 9 a.m., it sent a crew of five soldiers and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the 1-150th Assault Battalion in Wheeling to help fight the fire.
The release said that this is the first time that the West Virginia Army National Guard’s aviation
crews have been requested to provide aid to fight wildland fires.
The buckets utilized in this mission are capable of holding 550 gallons of water per scoop, or roughly 4,400 pounds of water, according to the National Guard.
Most of the state was under a Red Flag Warning or Fire Weather Warning on Wednesday, meaning that low humidity and high winds made brushfires more likely. Several fires have been reported across the state, including several in southern West Virginia like the one at the New River Gorge, and one in Harrison County.