If you see smoke today around Bath County, here’s why: The U.S. Forest Service is conducting a prescribed burn.

Here are the details:

Location: An approximately 300-acre section of the Porters Mill burn area will be burned in preparation for burning the larger unit later this spring. The area is located four miles southeast of Hot Springs and four miles north of Douthat State Park. 

Date and Time: Forest Service fire specialists, The Nature Conservancy, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, among others, will conduct the burn on Monday, March 21. The ignition-phase will be concluded before the end of the day. The fire will be monitored for several days and damp conditions and forecasted rain are expected to extinguish the fire later in the week. 

Purpose: Prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape. Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority, and Forest fire managers will conduct prescribed burns only under appropriate weather conditions. 

Additional Information and Road/Trail Closures: The Salt Pond Ridge Trail (Forest Trail 620) and Brushy Ridge Rd (Forest Road 1901) will be closed. Expect to see increased truck traffic on Limekiln Road (Forest Road 194). Smoke will be visible from Douthat Road (State Route 629). For the most up-to-date information visit  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7945/ and follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GWJNF