Forest Service plans prescribed burns in Bath, Alleghany and Botetourt Counties to reduce the risk of wildfire and improve wildlife habitat

Contact(s): Theresa Tanner 540-839-2521


Map of prescribed burns planned for the James River and Warm Springs Ranger Districts in 2021

Hot Springs, Va. March 2, 2021- The USDA Forest Service will begin conducting prescribed burns in Bath, Alleghany and Botetourt Counties, Va. between March and mid-May this spring. Prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat by restoring open woodlands and grasslands to the forest landscape. 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:

Bath County, Virginia: Six different prescribed burns may be conducted in Bath County.

The 2,944-acre burn area (comprised of five separate units) in the Hidden Valley area is located three miles north of Warm Springs. The Cobbler Mountain, Neal Run, Jackson River Gorge and Hidden Valley Trails, and Forest Road 241 may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the U.S. Route 220 and State Route 39 corridors. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

The 912-acre Cubville burn area is located five miles northeast of Warm Springs and 13 miles northwest of Goshen. The Piney Mountain Trail, Jordan Run Road and Piney Mountain Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Burnsville area. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

The 344-acre Coffee Pot burn area is located 1.5 miles southwest of Millboro Springs and seven miles west of Goshen. Coffee Pot Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Millboro Springs area and along State Route 42 and State Route 39. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

The 74-acre Walton Tract burn area is located five miles southwest of Millboro Springs and 10 miles northeast of Clifton Forge. County Road 632 may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Nimrod Hall area and along State Route 42. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

The 600-acre Brushy Ridge burn area is located eight miles north of Clifton Forge and two miles north of Douthat State Park. Brushy Ridge Trail, County Road 629, Dolly Anne Road and Limekiln Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects along County Road 629. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

The 1,744-acre Bolar Mountain burn unit is located on both Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources lands and National Forest Service lands, five miles west of Hot Springs and 1.5 miles east of the West Virginia state line and Greenbrier County. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is the lead agency for this prescribed burn. County Roads 600 and 603 may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Mountain Grove and Warm Springs areas and along County Roads 600 and 603. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

Alleghany and Botetourt Counties, Virginia: The 897-acre Tri-County burn area is located 1.5 miles southwest of Longdale Furnace and six miles southeast of Clifton Forge. Forest Service fire managers will work in partnership with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation on this prescribed burn. Blue Suck Run Trail, Yaccrs Run Trail, Tri-County Road, and Longdale Road may be temporarily closed. For your safety, please follow posted signs and closures when they occur. The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Longdale Furnace area and along Interstate 64 and U.S. Highway 60. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.

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 bear, deer, turkey and migratory birds.

The Forest Service works closely with partners and are able to accomplish this important habitat work thanks to help from The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Virginia Department of Forestry, among others.

For more information on our prescribed burn program, please contact the James River and Warm Springs Ranger Districts at (540)839-2521 or visit our website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj. You can also follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF1.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD890787