SMOKE HOLE, W.Va. – The wildfire burning in the Monongahela National Forest is now 60 percent contained.
Despite high winds overnight, Sunday’s rain dampened the forest floor, enabling firefighters to get a better handle on the blaze that’s now been burning since November 10. So far, the flames have charred 1,600 acres in Pendleton and Grant counties.
About 180 firefighters from more than dozen states are helping battle the flames. Some are working on fire lines others are mopping up.
A helicopter has completed over 50 bucket drops dumping 9,000 gallons of water in active fire areas including the northern flank below Champe Rocks.
The U.S. Forest Service said there is still a lot of work left ahead. With unpredictable weather conditions, the fire could grow but crews are working to put out the hot spots so the flames don’t jump the fire line.
The fire started on private land and spread into the national forest. So far no private property has been damaged. What cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
This is the largest forest fire in the Monongahela National Forest in more than 60 years.