CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leaves in West Virginia are changing quickly this fall season with higher elevations currently nearing peak.

“At our elevations from about 3,000 to 4,000 feet, which would be from the Davis/Thomas area and above the Dolly Sods region is now at peak or beyond peak color,” said Brian Sarfino, marketing manager at the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Leave colors are changing earlier than last year at this time, Safino said.

“We’re now starting to see the leaves change into the Black Water Canyon and into the lower elevations,” he said.

“If you want to see peak colors, you’ll probably need to be here this weekend.”

Near record-breaking high temperatures Tuesday into Wednesday could impact parts of the state’s fall foliage. Temperatures could reach 90 degrees in some spots.

“What the heat wave seems to be doing is drying out everything very quickly. The leaves are now just falling quite fast,” Sarfino said.

The first fall foliage report was released this week by the state Division of Tourism and Division of Forestry.

“The goal of this partnership is not only to share the best leaf peeping views and spots each week, but also share with travelers how those destinations fir within a two to three day travel itinerary,” said Emily Amos, W.Va. Tourism public relations director.

In addition to Tucker County, higher elevations nearing peak include Randolph and Pendleton counties along with areas of the Greenbrier River. Those areas are currently showing yellow, gold and red colors.

Lower elevations including Marion and Monongalia counties along with areas of the Ohio Valley are showing early colors of red and yellow.

Amos said they want to connect people to where the best viewing opportunities are in the state.

“One of our jobs here at the Tourism Office is serve as advisers on what you can do if you’re visiting the state and then if you’re a resident — things that are in your back yard that you may not even know about,” she said.

The Tourism Office is encouraging people to participate in their Almost Heaven Road Trip campaign. To do so, post your fall foliage pictures of West Virginia by using the hashtag #AlmostHeaven. If you’re in Tucker County, the CVB is asking travelers to use the hashtag #GetTuckered.

“Fall is one of our most scenic seasons that we have and so we want to continue flooding the Internet with beautiful pictures of West Virginia during fall,” Amos said.

A fall foliage update is provided by the state Division of Forestry each week of the season.

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