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Drawdown of firefighters underway at Dry Hollow fire scene

UPPER TRACT, W.Va. — Staffing was being scaled back Tuesday at the site of a fire burning in the Monongahela National Forest near Upper Tract in Pendleton County.

Rain and snow were helping with containment of the Dry Hollow Fire which had burned 1,289 acres since last week, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire was said to be 60 percent contained as of Monday evening.

Plans called for command of the incident to be transferred to local resources with 15 firefighters remaining on scene to monitor existing fire control lines and patrol the area.

“We are relieved we finally got some moisture to help us with this fire,” says Walt Walter, incident commander, in a statement.

Agencies involved in the fire response included the Upper Tract Fire Department and the state Division of Forestry.

On Monday, the fire was said to be burning with “low to moderate intensity creating conditions that are beneficial to wildlife, oak regeneration, and most significantly, Table Mountain pine.”

Table Mountain pine, a fire-adapted species that needs fire to aid in opening the cones for seed dispersal, is usually found on rocky ledges and ridgetops.

A cause for the fire had not been determined as of Tuesday morning.

Smoke Hole Road was reopened to traffic, but burned areas of the forest remained closed to the public.

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