UPDATE: AMHERST COUNTY (WSLS 10) – The USDA Fire Service says the fire is estimated to be 2,700 acres in size. Strong winds and low humidity contributed to the rapid spread of the fire on Sunday.
Firefighters continue to build hand and dozer lines to contain the fire and helicopters are assigned to the fire and are dropping water within the priority areas as needed.
Thrasher’s Creek Road (SR) 617 is closed at Molly’s Mountain due to firefighting activities and only local traffic will be permitted.
A public meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m., at the Central Baptist Church located at 103 Central Church Lane, in Amherst.
The USDA Forest Service is working with the Virginia Department of Forestry to contain a wildfire burning on the George Washington National Forest and private land in and around the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area in Amherst County.
As of 1:30 p.m., the fire, which is north of Thrashers Creek, was estimated to be 1,200 acres.
Strong winds and low humidity contributed to the rapid spread of the fire on Sunday. The fire is located north of Thrashers Creek.
Firefighters are building hand and dozer lines to contain the fire and a helicopter is dropping water with the priority on areas south of the fire where structures are threatened.
Approximately 70 firefighters and support staff including two wildland engines, a dozer and two aircraft are assigned to this incident with additional resources being mobilized.
Thrasher’s Creek Road (State Route 617) is closed at Molly’s Mountain due to firefighting activities. Local traffic will be permitted.
As a result of the fire the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area is closed to public entry including the following roads and trails:
- Hog Camp Gap Road (FR #48) from Hog Camp Gap to Salt Log Gap
- North Fork of Buffalo Road (FR #51)
- Coon Bridge Road (FR #1167)
- Appalachian Trail (FT #1) from Long Mountain Wayside to Salt Pond Gap
- Old Hotel Trail (FT #515)
- Henry Lanum Trail (FT #702)
- Mt. Pleasant Trail (FT #704)
- Trailheads associated with these trails
The fire was discovered on Saturday evening and the cause is under investigation.