Fire Ban In GW and Jefferson National Forests

In a press release dated November 15th, the USDA Forest Service announced it is implementing a fire ban on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests to maintain public safety and protect forest resources during extreme drought. Building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire is prohibited on National Forest lands outside of developed recreation areas.


Fires are permitted within developed recreation areas such as campgrounds and day use areas and must be confined to fire rings, stoves, or grills. Use of stoves, lanterns, and heating equipment that use liquid or gas fuel are still permitted throughout the forest. Open fires may not be ignited or maintained at any shelter or dispersed area along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.


Smoking is prohibited except within enclosed vehicles or buildings, in developed recreation areas such as campgrounds and day use areas, or in areas cleared of all flammable material at least 3 feet in diameter.

This fire ban has been implemented due to extreme dry conditions, high fire danger, and little chance of significant rain in the immediate forecast. “We currently are working to contain two large fires on the Forest that are over 100 acres in size with new fires starting daily,” said Fire Management Officer Andy Pascarella. The fire ban begins Tuesday, November 15, 2016 and will expire Wednesday, February 1, 2017.


Campfires should always be put out and cold to the touch before left for any period of time. For more information contact your local Ranger District office or visit the forest website at

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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