UPDATE: WV Division of Forestry requesting public information on fire at Coopers Rock State Forest

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UPDATE (4/7/21 12:32 p.m.):

BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Forestry is seeking information from the public regarding a wildfire in Clay Run area of Coopers Rock State Forest.
 
The cause of the fire is officially undetermined at this time, according to a press release. The WVDOF Special Operations Unit and Region 1 personnel are actively collecting information and investigating the cause.
 
Anyone with credible information about the March 23 fire in Coopers Rock State Forest is encouraged to call 800-233-FIRE or fill out the online form. Specific information and the ability to follow-up with the caller is beneficial, the WVDOF said. Callers may also contact the WVDOF Region 1 Farmington Office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 304-825-6983.
 
The fire at Coopers Rock State Forest was reported Tuesday, March 23, at about 6 p.m. The wildfire burned an estimated 30 acres before it was brought under control, according to the WVDOF.


UPDATE (3/24/21 5:55 p.m.):

According to Jonas McClenahan, an office manager with Coopers Rock State Forest, the fire is roughly 95% out, as of Wednesday.

A first responder on the phone during Tuesday night’s blaze

“There are still a few hot spots out there,” he said. “They have a good perimeter around it.”

A forestry assessment via drone shows about 30 acres have been burnt, McClenahan said. Fire crews have left the scene in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but forestry employees are still keeping an eye on things and assessing the damage that has been done.

“Fire crews have left the scene in the early hours of Wednesday morning”

McClenahan said the fire’s cause remains unknown. He added that a fire of this size in that area is not typical, and a constant wind fed the fire throughout the evening.

“The wind did not help,” he said. “That wind fed that fire. It was just a constant wind all evening. But, I don’t know if it is typical or not. It’s definitely not typical up here to have a fire of that size.”

As for the public, McClenahan said anyone visiting Coopers Rock should stay away from the area of the fire for the time being. This is west of the reservoir, which is on the opposite side of the road from the campground.


ORIGINAL STORY (3/23/21 9:51 p.m.):

First responders from both West Virginia and Pennsylvania responded to reports of a large brush fire at Coopers Rock State Forest.

Coopers Rock Fire
Crews respond to flames at Coopers Rock State Forest

According to Monongalia County 911 officials, crews were alerted to calls about the incident at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. According to Park Superintendent Jan Dzierzak, approximately 25 acres have been burned, and crews were still on scene.

“It’s in the middle of the forest,” Dzierzak explained. “It’s starting to get under control but it’s going to be a long night.”

The West Virginia Division of Forestry, Cheat Lake Fire Department, Brookhaven Fire Department, Clinton District Fire Department, Granville Fire Department, River Road Fire Department, Star City Fire Department, Westover Fire Department, Monongalia County Brush Fire Team, Monongalia County Emergency Management, and the Mon County Drone Team all responded to the scene.

Bruceton Mills and Albright Fire Departments responded from Preston County. The Smithfield Fire Department, Fairchance Fire Department, and Marklesburg Fire Company sent resources from Pennsylvania to assist in battling the fire.

Monongalia County 911 officials explained that additional support came from the Monongalia County EMS and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department.

Stay with 12 News as we will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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