Briana Heaney Published

Rainfall Quells Major Fires Throughout W.Va.

Smoke can be seen covering a large area of a mountainsideNew River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Major decreases in active fires are largely due to the half inch of rain statewide. The National Weather Service said another quarter to half inch of rain is on the way.

Jeremy Jones, state forester, said the state is closing in on 100 percent containment with all fires. 

“Thanks to the nice rain that pretty much covered the entire state today, or will cover as we get into this evening hours,” Jones said. “All of the fires in West Virginia that are under state jurisdiction are under control.”

There will be another dry weather pattern over the Thanksgiving holiday and through the weekend that could yield more smoke from the larger fires in the state like the Coal Fork Fire, the Left Fork of Long Bottom Creek Fire or the Steep Valley Fire. 

“Some of those larger fires, folks may see some smoking coming off of them. But we will be back in there, monitoring them and making sure that they stay within our containment lines,” Jones said. 

However, the over 11,000-acre Matts Creek Fire in Virginia could bring smoke to southern and central West Virginia through the weekend. The Matts Creek Fire is still only less than 33 percent contained. 

“I think the whole eastern southeastern corner of the state got smoke from that large fire yesterday. Hopefully this rain eliminates that problem going forward,” Jones said.