The U.S. Forest Service announced it plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Tar Jacket area of Amherst County within the George Washington National Forest on Wednesday, April 7.
The 778-acre Tar Jacket burn unit is located eight miles northeast of Buena Vista and six miles northeast of Forks of Buffalo.
The Forest Service plans to begin ignitions on April 7, if weather conditions are appropriate. This prescribed burn will be completed in one day. Firefighters will continue to monitor the area for several days after the burn.
According to the Fire Service, prescribed burns keep the public and homes safe by reducing the buildup of dried leaves and wood in nearby forest land that can lead to uncontrolled wildfires. This prescribed burn will also reduce vegetation to improve wildlife habitat and maintain existing fields along the Appalachian Trail that provide scenic views, the Forest Service said in a news release.
Temporary Closures: Approximately two miles of the Appalachian Trail along Tar Jacket Ridge between Hog Camp Gap (mile 815.4) and Salt Log Gap (mile 817.6) will be temporarily closed. The trail closure would last for one day and would re-open the following day. Hiker shuttling services are not provided. There is no alternate route for this section. Hog Camp Road may also be temporarily closed during the prescribed burn. For your safety, please follow posted signs and trail closures when they occur.
Smoke: The prescribed burn is expected to have lingering smoke effects in the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area and along the Hog Camp and Big Piney Road corridors. Depending on wind direction, residents and travelers in these areas may see or smell smoke.
For more information visit https:// https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7360/.
To learn more about the Forest Service's prescribed burn program, contact the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District at (540) 291-2188 or visit its website at www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj.