Forest Service plans prescribed burns in Augusta, Highland and Rockingham Counties, Virginia and Pendleton County, West Virginia to reduce risk of wildfire and improve wildlife habitat

Contact(s): Mary Yonce, (540) 266-2113


Map of prescribed burn units-NRRD

Harrisonburg, Va. March 1, 2021 — The USDA Forest Service will begin conducting prescribed burns in Augusta, Highland and Rockingham Counties, Virginia, and Pendleton County, West Virginia, between mid-March and late May 2021. Prescribed burns 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. Prescribed burns can also improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape.

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. The burn will mimic historic natural fire as much as possible. Some individual trees will burn, but the fire should travel mostly across the forest floor.

For thousands of years, fire shaped our forests and wildlife and our lands need fire to be healthy. Low intensity prescribed burns create open areas where a diverse mix of grasses, plants and wildflowers grow, and provide valuable food and cover for wildlife such as bears, deer, turkeys and migratory birds.

Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority and Forest Service fire managers will conduct controlled burns in the following areas only under appropriate weather conditions:

Augusta County and Highland County, Virginia; and Pendleton County, West Virginia: The 5,427-acre New Road Run burn area is located on the western slope of Shenandoah Mountain on the West Virginia-Virginia state line, immediately west of the Little River Inventoried Roadless area and north of the Ramsey Draft Wilderness. Reddish Knob Road (Forest Service Road 85-5), Little Stoney Road (Forest Service Road 61) and Little Stoney Trail (Forest Trail 1027) will be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with road closures when they occur. Residents of Harrisonburg, Briery Branch, Ottobine, Clover Hills, Bridgewater, and Sugar Grove, Virginia, and Brandywine, West Virginia,  and travelers on West Virginia County Route 25 and Va. County Route 924, West Virginia Route 32, North River Road (Forest Service Road 95) and Stoney Run Road (Forest Service Road WV 61) may see or smell smoke. Depending on wind direction, this controlled burn may have lingering smoke effects.

Rockingham County, Virginia: The 62-acre Slate Lick Fields burn area is located 4.3 miles south of Fulks Run. For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with area closures when they occur. Residents of Fulks Run and travelers on State Routes 612 and 259 may see or smell smoke. Depending on wind direction, this controlled burn may have lingering smoke effects.

Augusta County, Virginia: The 34-acre Moffett prescribed burn area is located 3 miles southwest of Stokesville and east of Hankey Mountain.  For your safety, please follow posted signs and comply with area closures when they occur. Residents of Stokesville and Jennings Gap and travelers on the portions of US 250 and Jennings Gap Road (State Route 728) closest to the burn area may see or smell smoke. Depending on wind direction, this controlled burn may have lingering smoke effects. 

For more information on our prescribed burn program, please contact the North River Ranger District Office at (540) 432-0187.  You can also follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF1.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD890579