Jefferson National Forest officials update containment efforts on multiple forest fires


    Forest officials with the Jefferson National Forest, Clinch Ranger District released the following press release regarding a number of forest fires burning in Southwest Virginia and Kentucky. It reads as follows:

    "The Raven Rocks Fire is approximately 2,500 acres in size and is 60 percent contained. The fire is located on Pine Mountain in the area south of Jenkins, KY and north of Pound, VA. Virginia Department of Forestry, Kentucky Division of Forestry, and USDA Forest Service fire personnel are jointly managing the incident. Control efforts are focused on protecting the communities of Jenkins and Burdine in Kentucky and residences along South Mountain Road and White Oak Creek Road north of Pound, VA. The West Chaparral fire is approximately 75 acres in size and containment efforts are ongoing. The fire is located on High Knob in the area north of Forest Road 704 (Mountain Fork road), and west of the Robinson Knob community. USDA Forest Service fire personnel are managing the incident. Control efforts are focused on protecting the residences in the Robinson Knob community, the gas wells in the area, and the forest resources. On the Raven Rocks fire, a helicopter is assigned to support firefighters along South Mountain Road and White Oak Creek Road, and another is working closely with ground forces to support firefighters at the West Chaparral fire. For both wildfires, over 125 firefighters from 13 states, including Virginia, Kentucky, California, Maine, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, and Florida are working to contain the fire. Additionally, the Forest Road 704 (Mountain Fork road) is temporarily closed from the Edith Gap/State Road 706/Forest Road 704 intersection on the east end, to the Forest Road 704/State Road 619 intersection on the west end. Gates will be opened as soon as safely possible. Please be careful driving on roads along Pine Mountain near Pound, and Forest Road 238 and State Road 706 on High Knob, as smoke may impair visibility. We ask that you slow down, watch out for smoke from the fire, and anticipate slow moving traffic. There is a temporary restriction of open fires on the Clinch Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Please remember that although specific hunting seasons are currently in effect, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regulation prohibits hunting adjacent to a forest fire."

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