GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The National Park Service (NPS) now estimates that almost 2,000 acres have burned since the Steep Valley Fire started Nov. 6 in the New River Gorge National Park.
In an update on Sunday, Nov. 12, the NPS said that the has been “minimal fire activity” since the last update due to some rain on Friday, but better imaging allowed officials to get a more accurate estimate of burned acreage, accounting for the much larger number of acres burned. As of Sunday morning, the fire is still burning in the War Ridge and Backus Mountain area of the New River Gorge, but it is now 50% contained, according to the NPS.
Although rain over the weekend helped keep the fire from spreading, Sunday’s update said that the area is drying back out and fire activity is expected to increase again.
A total of 62 firefighters have responded to the fire so far, and they will continue to create fire lines and burn out possible pockets of fuel, the release said.
“Firefighter safety remains a number one priority. To date, there has been one minor injury to a firefighter,” the release said.
In addition to multiple crews from out of state that came to help last week, a private hand crew from Oregon is also helping.
For people in the area, smoke may still be visible for several days, but only the War Ridge Campground and access road at the park are closed. Air quality in the area is still generally good.
For the most updated fire information, click here.