Forest Service plans prescribed burns in Amherst and Augusta Counties to reduce the risk of wildfire and improve wildlife habitat

Contact(s): Lauren Stull (540) 291-2188


Map of prescribed burns planned for the Glenwood-Pedlar District in 2021

Natural Bridge Station, Va. March 2, 2021 - The USDA Forest Service will begin conducting prescribed burns in Amherst and Augusta Counties, Virginia between mid-March and late May 2021. Prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape. Prescribed burns also 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. Safety is the Forest Service’s top priority, and Forest Service fire managers will conduct prescribed burns in the following areas only under appropriate weather conditions:

Augusta County, Virginia: The 259-acre Love’s Run burn unit is located 4.5 miles southwest of Stuarts Draft. Sections of Coal Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and area closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Stuarts Draft area and along the Coal Road corridor. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Augusta County, Virginia:  The 342-acre Mills Creek burn unit is located 5.5 miles southeast of Stuarts Draft. Turkey Pen Ridge Trail, Mills Creek Trail and sections of Coal Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and area closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Sherando area and along the Coal Road corridor. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Amherst County, Virginia:  The 778-acre Tar Jacket burn unit is located eight miles northeast of Buena Vista and six miles northeast of Forks of Buffalo. Hog Camp Road and sections of the Appalachian Trail may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and trail closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area and along the Hog Camp and Big Piney Road corridors. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Amherst County, Virginia:  The 1,075-acre Cole Mountain burn unit is located 7.5 miles east of Buena Vista and four miles north of Forks of Buffalo. Hog Camp Road, Cow Camp Road, North Fork Buffalo Road (Forest Road 51), Old Hotel Trail and sections of the Appalachian Trail may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and trail closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area and along Hog Camp, Cow Camp, North Fork of the Buffalo and Big Piney Road corridors. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Experienced fire managers will closely monitor weather and fuel conditions, such as winds, temperature, and humidity to determine the best day to conduct each prescribed burn 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. 

For thousands of years, fire shaped our forests and wildlife and our lands need fire to be healthy. Low to moderate 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.

For more information on our prescribed burn program, please contact the Glenwood/Pedlar Ranger District at (540) 291-2188, visit our website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj, or follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF1.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD890598