The U.S. Forest Service plans prescribed burns on Saturday in Bath County and Wise County and Sunday in Bedford County three miles northwest of Montvale. Here are the particulars:
Location: The Coffee Pot burn area is located one-mile southwest of Millboro Springs and seven miles west of Goshen.
Date and Time: Forest Service fire specialists plan to begin the 344-acre burn on Saturday, April 23. You may see smoke from this prescribed burn for several days.
Purpose: Prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape.
Additional Information and Road Closures: The Coffee Pot Road (Forest Road #462) may be temporarily closed. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Millboro Springs area and along the State Route 42 and State Route 39 corridors. Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority, and Forest fire managers will conduct prescribed burn only under appropriate weather conditions. 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
Location: The High Butte burn unit is located in the Keokee Lake area, approximately ten miles southwest of Appalachia, 2.8 miles southeast of Keokee, two miles south of Exeter, VA, and 4.75 miles west of Big Stone Gap, VA.
Date and Time: Forest Service fire specialists are planning to ignite approximately 2,800 acres this Saturday, April 23. Firefighters will continue to monitor the prescribed burn area and smoke may be visible for several days.
Purpose: This burn helps keep the public and homes safe by reducing the buildup of dried leaves and wood in nearby forest land that can lead to uncontrolled wildfires. This burn will improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape.
Additional Information and Road/Trail Closures. The trail systems around Keokee Lake may be closed. The lake will be open to fishing with limitations. Fishing from the bank will be allowed only on the west side of lake to the damn. For your safety, please follow posted signs and trail closures when they occur. The controlled burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in parts of Wise County including the town of Keokee, and Exeter and surrounding areas. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke. Fire specialists burned portions of this area earlier this spring. By burning the area in smaller units at different times in the season, residents and visitors in the area experience less smoke at one time. Burning both early and late in the season creates habitat diversity that is important for forest health. Firefighter and public safety is our number one priority and fire specialist will conduct this prescribed buns only if weather conditions are appropriate. 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
Location: The 1,034-acre Black Horse Gap burn area is located three miles northwest of Montvale and ten miles northeast of Roanoke on National Forest Service lands in the Day Creek trailhead area.
Date and Time: Fire Specialists may begin igniting the prescribed burn as soon as Sunday, April 24, if weather conditions allow. Small sections of the area would burn on Sunday to reinforce and expand fire control lines. Fire Specialists plan to ignite the larger prescribed burn area on Monday, April 25.
Purpose: Prescribed fire has multiple benefits. The purpose of this burn is to help keep the public and homes safe by reducing the buildup of dried leaves and wood in nearby forest land that can lead to uncontrolled wildfires. This area has a history of wildfires which threatened nearby residences, including the 1,151-acre Quarry wildfire in 2006 and the 1,519-acre Blackhorse wildfire in 2008. This prescribed burn will also help restore yellow pine to the landscape and improve wildlife habitat by creating more open woodland conditions.
Road and Trail Closures:The section of the Blue Ridge Parkway from the intersection with U.S. Route 460 to the intersection with State Route 43 will be closed during the burning operations on Monday, April 25. The Day Creek Trailhead, portions of the Glenwood Horse Trail (Forest Trail #3004E) and Forest Service Roads Day Creek (Forest Road#3078) and Black Horse Gap East (Forest Road #186-2) will be temporarily closed for the duration of the burn on both Sunday, April 24 and Monday, April 25. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur.
Additional Information: Smoke from this burn will be visible throughout the area, including from the Blue Ridge Parkway, U.S. Route 11, I-81 and U.S. Route 460 and from the towns of Montvale, Buchanan, Bedford, Blue Ridge and Roanoke. Expect reduced visibility, drive with caution and use fog lights if driving through smoke.Smoke is expected to lift high into the air during the daytime, but may settle into low lying areas in the evenings. There may be lingering smoke effects in the Montvale area. The fire will continue to burn in the area and firefighters will continue to monitor the burn for several days. Forest Service fire specialists are conducting this burn in partnership with the National Park Service and Bedford County. Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority, and Forest fire managers will conduct this prescribed burn only under appropriate weather conditions. Experienced fire managers will closely monitor local weather conditions, such as wind and humidity, and adjust the schedule as needed to ensure the safety of both crewmembers and local residents. Prior to lighting the burn, crews construct and designate firebreaks to ensure the fire does not leave the burn area. Some individual trees will burn, but the fire should travel mostly across the forest floor.