Updates from the Monongahela National Forest

Prescribed burn planned in Pocahontas County

Monongahela National Forest plans to conduct a 411-acre prescribed burn on Middle Mountain in Pocahontas County south of Minnehaha Springs before the end of November, weather-permitting.

The primary purpose for this project is to enhance habitat for wild turkey and other woodland species by maintaining open areas in the forest and creating early successional habitat. Prescribed burning also helps to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.

The burn area will be closed to the public on the day of the burn and may be closed for several days after to ensure public safety. Signs will be posted on nearby roads before and during burning. Residents and visitors may see and smell smoke for several days. If you encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights and drive appropriately for the conditions.

Prescribed fires are conducted under specific weather conditions and are designed to accomplish pre-determined forest management goals. Monongahela National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and takes into consideration environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and wind. If any environmental conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.

A portion of  Williams River Road tentatively scheduled to close November 30th, 2020

A 3.5-mile section of Williams River Road (Forest Road 86) is tentatively scheduled to be closed Monday, November 30, from the gate near Laurel Run in Webster County to the barricade at dispersed campsite number 7.

The closure will allow Federal Highway Administration contractors to continue repairs to damage caused by the June 2016 flood. Two major projects have been completed since August 2019.

This closure could last through December 2021. The timing of this tentative closure is subject to change based on the needs of the contractor completing the work, weather, and other factors.  The public is advised to stay alert when visiting this area. Increased construction traffic may be present.

For the latest news on Williams River Road construction contact the Gauley Ranger District at 304-846-2695.

More information about these updates are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mnf.





Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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