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Contact: Julena Campbell , 304-465-6523
The Turkey Spur Fire burning in the Grandview area of New River Gorge National River since Wednesday morning is now estimated to be 35 acres and is 40% contained. Although the fire is still burning, the moisture that the area received over the past several days has significantly slowed its growth. A specially trained National Park Service crew from Arkansas, the Buffalo Wildland Fire Module, has been assigned to the fire. They will monitor the fire, look for any hot spots –areas of active smoke and flame that are still burning inside the containment lines –and extinguish them completely, as well as put in additional containment lines as needed. Firefighters will continue this work until it is determined that the fire is 100% contained.
As a result of the greatly reduced levels of fire activity, portions of the Turkey Spur area have been reopened to the public. The Turkey Spur Road remains closed to vehicles, but is open to pedestrians for approximately ¾ mile from its junction with Grandview Road. The Turkey Spur Overlook and the immediate surrounding area remains closed. The Grandview Rim Trail is now open completely from the trailhead at the Main Overlook to just below the Turkey Spur Overlook. The closures are well marked. All other trails, the picnics areas, and other portions of the Grandview area remain open.
The Turkey Spur Fire was discovered on April 6 and initially strong gusty winds and low relative humidity levels fueled the blaze, allowing it to grow to 20 acres within the first few hours. The fire also quickly burned portions of the recently installed stairs and extensive boardwalk leading up to the Turkey Spur Overlook. The initial investigation into the fire shows that it is likely human caused and the investigation is ongoing.
Although the recent rains have allowed fire managers throughout West Virginia to move the fire danger rating to "Low", outdoor enthusiasts are reminded to always be extremely careful with open flames. At New River Gorge National River, campfires are only allowed in park-provided fire grills in campgrounds or picnic areas. Additionally, throughout the state of West Virginia, restricted burning regulations are currently in effect throughMay 31. Outdoor burning is prohibited from7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
To learn more about fire management in the park, visit www.nps.gov/neri/learn/
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 410 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
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