Update: Friday, November 22 at 10:40 a.m.
The Smoke Hole area of Pendleton County, W.Va. that was struck by a forest fire nearly two weeks ago will reopen to the public on Sunday now that the fire is fully contained.
A news release says the public will be free to enter the Monongahela National Forest area where the fire was beginning Sunday morning, Nov. 24, 2013.
The fire burned 1,611 acres.
The release says visitors to the area should be aware that there are still ongoing monitoring and fire patrol efforts and that while the majority of firefighters have gone home, several crews, engines, and a helicopter continue to work in the area.
Update: Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 10 a.m.
The forest fire at the Smoke Hole area of Pendleton County has grown to about 1,600 acres but firefighters are also finding more success in fighting it. According to a news release the fire is 50 percent contained.
The fire started a week ago on private land adjacent to the Monongahela National Forest 11 miles southwest of Petersburg, W.Va. and three miles northeast Seneca Rocks. The cause is under investigation.
The news release says about 190 firefighters and support staff, including four crews, two modules, six engines, two bulldozers, and one helicopter are assisting with the fire.
The release says: Crews had a safe, productive day yesterday. The south and east flanks are being mopped up and patrolled. Some minimal fire activity occurred along the crest of North Fork Mountain along the northwest section of the fire.
Plans for today call for direct attack on any remaining active fire. In areas where the fire is not actively burning, crews are strengthening the completed line.
A cold front moving into the area in late afternoon may bring a chance of thunderstorms with gusty winds and additional rain.
Update: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 9 a.m.
The U.S Forest Service and West Virginia Division of Forestry report the fire in the Smoke Hole area of Pendleton County, W.Va. is about 30 percent contained.
The fire is burning on about 1,400 acres of national forest land and adjacent private property 11 miles southwest of Petersburg and three miles northeast of Seneca Rocks.