George Washington & Jefferson National Forest Sets Burning Restrictions

In a press release on November 9th, the USDA Forest Service announced it is implementing a Stage 1 fire restriction on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest to maintain public safety and protect forest resources during drought. Building, attending, maintaining or using an open fire outside of a developed recreation site is prohibited on National Forest lands effective from November 9, 2023, through December 31,2023.


Visitors igniting and maintaining campfires within developed recreation sites should use caution and make sure that all campfires are fully extinguished before leaving their site. Campfires should not be left unattended.


Open fires may not be ignited or maintained at any dispersed recreation site, including along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, within the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest. This includes all wood, charcoal, coal or other solid-fuel open air fires. Fires may be maintained within metal rings, burn pits, or grills within developed recreation sites. Propane and other fuel powered camp stoves are still permitted.


This fire restriction has been implemented due to dry conditions, high fire danger, and little chance of significant rain in the immediate forecast. Forest Supervisor Job Timm said “We are working to manage the fire threats on our forest and hope that a fire restriction will reduce the likelihood of additional fire activity,”


For more information, visit the forest website at or follow us on

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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