As you’ve probably heard, for the last 12 days a large forest fire has been burning in Shenandoah National Park in the park’s southern district. The fire was first reported on April 16 on the Rocky Mountain Trail, and is assumed to have been human caused (although the exact cause has not yet been determined). It grew rapidly throughout last week due to the recent dry weather, and crossed over Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail spreading down the park’s western slope towards the Shenandoah River. As of 2pm, April 28 it has burned over 10,000 acres of parkland, threatened homes outside the park, and shut down sections of Skyline Drive and the AT. Due to the hard work of some incredible firefighters, park rangers, and volunteers, the fire is now 90% contained and on its last legs. Check out the latest reports here.
The Rocky Mountain Fire is the second biggest forest fire in the history of the Shenandoah National Park, and is going to leave a big scar on our favorite playground. No matter where or when you’re making a fire, always remember what’s at stake. Even a few embers can be the start of a 10,000 acre forest fire. Always have water on hand, always make sure the coals are cold to the touch before you leave, and most importantly use common sense! Smokey wasn’t kidding when he said that ONLY YOU can prevent forest fires.
A big thank you to all the wonderful people that have spent the last 12 days fighting for our parkland, now it’s time to go enjoy the trails!!