Graphic courtesy of National Park Service.
It’s dry in western Virginia. Fall has not brought much rain and, with freshly-fallen autumn leaves littering the mountain woods, fire danger is high.
With that in mind, and with forest fires raging in the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park decided to be proactive and prohibit fire of any kind in the driest portion of the park.
Beginning Wednesday, November 16, the South District of the Skyline Drive, located between I-64 at Afton Mountain and Rt. 33, is off-limits to campfires and more, according to the National Park Service:
Building, attending, maintaining or using an open fire anywhere within the South District of Shenandoah National Park is prohibited. This ban includes:
o All wood, charcoal, coal or other solid fuel open air fires.
o Fires in grates, grills, rings or pits in campgrounds, picnic areas, shelters and huts.
o Please note that wood, charcoal, coal or other solid fuel fires are always prohibited in the backcountry of the entire Shenandoah National Park.
The use of pressurized gas-fuel camp stoves and backpacking stoves will be allowed in Dundo Picnic Grounds and in the backcountry. However, the use of liquid-fuel or wood-fuel portable stoves is prohibited.
Smoking will be permitted only inside vehicles and at established paved or gravel parking areas. Smoking will be prohibited on all trails.
Restrictions will continue indefinitely until conditions improve.
Cross-posted at Bearing Drift.