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The original item was published from 4/22/2016 5:05:00 PM to 4/22/2016 5:06:12 PM.

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Fire & Rescue

Posted on: April 22, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Rock Mtn Fire Update - April 22, 2016

Yesterday's Events & Current Status
Fire containment lines were improved by burning out of vegetation between the containment lines and the main fire yesterday afternoon, and evening south along Skyline Drive to mile marker 80. Additional fire line improvement was successfully completed along the boundaries of the fire from Skyline Drive across the entire northern portion from Beldor Hollow to the Gap Run area. With the changing and variable winds yesterday fire crews picked up multiple spot fires, catching and containing all of them including a spot that jumped Skyline Drive. The flame lengths, which have been 3 to 4 feet are now anticipated to be in the 6 inch to 1 foot range unless influenced by wind over the next couple of operation periods, but dependent on rain fall. This is creating a window of opportunity for fire resources to more effectively contain and expand mop up operations today. The Team urges the public to keep drones out of the area. Fire aircraft have to be grounded whenever a drone is spotted in the wildfire area. Total fire acres are 7,935 with 40% containment. The fire, which was first reported on Saturday, April 16th is burning in mountain laurel, pine, and oak forests with heavier than average leaf litter and duff.

Planned Events
Today, crews are continuing to actively suppress spot fires in the area of Skyline Drive. Crews continue to hold and mop up along containment lines. A new operational division has been created and staffed for the southwestern section of the fire. Today’s efforts are focused on continued scouting and building and/or improvement of containment lines along the southern and western boundaries of the fire.

A TFR - Temporary Flight Restriction has been declared for this fire.

The Appalachian Trail is closed from Blackrock Gap (mile 87.5) to Powell Gap (mile 70)The Skyline Drive is closed from Swift Run Gap (mile 65.5 to Black Rock Gap (mile 87.5)
Rockytop TrailBrowns Gap Fire Road
Madison Run Fire RoadThe Doyles River Cabin is closed
Rocky Mount TrailBig Run Loop
Gap Run TrailAustin Mountain Trail
Onemile Run TrailLewis Peak Trail
Brown Mountain TrailPatterson Ridge Trail
Big Run Portal TrailMadison Run Spur
Madison Run Fire RoadRocky Mountain Run Trail

Furnace Mountain TrailTrayfoot Mountain Trail
Blackrock TrailDoyles River Trail
Jones Run Trail 


2 Type 2 Helicopters, 3 Type 3 Helicopters, 11 engines, 2 fixed wing SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers) and 2 Air Attack/lead plane

National Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, Rockingham County Department of Fire and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Grottoes Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire WeatherA cold front is moving slowly across the Appalachian Mountains today with the first showers expected to arrive in the fire area by this morning and a potential for brief thunder showers this afternoon, bringing projected rainfall total of a tenth to just over a quarter of an inch. Winds today will be out of the southwest, shifting to the northwest tonight after the frontal passage. In spite of the wetting showers and increased humidity it will continue to be breezy along the ridgetops and along Skyline Drive. Smoke production by the fire is anticipated to be lighter than earlier days and will be blowing to the northeast of the fire switching around to the southeast, towards Charlottesville by late afternoon. A helpful link for smoke/air quality:

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