National Forest Burn Ban Lifted

In a press release dated December 6th, the USDA Forest Service announced it has cancelled the fire ban on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.  Rainfall amounts across the Forests have provided sufficient moisture levels to reduce the risk of wildfire.


Andy Pascarella, Fire Management Officer said “We consider factors including weather conditions, moisture in logs, twigs, and leaves on the forest floor, and fire danger levels to assess when fire restrictions are necessary. The recent rain across the region has decreased the risk of wildfires.”


The fire ban had been in place for over two weeks to maintain public safety and protect forest resources during drought conditions.  During that time, firefighters responded to six new fires on the Forest including the Mount Pleasant Fire in Amherst County which grew to 11,229 acres before being contained.


The Forest Service noted that continued caution is still advised. Although there are no current fire restrictions on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, please remember that everyone needs to be safe with fire. Campfires should always be put out and cold to the touch before being left for any period of time.


Some burning restrictions may still be in place on private lands at a county level.  Contact your local county Sherriff’s office to find out what the current conditions and restrictions are in your area.


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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