Fire in Shenandoah National Park burns 1,800 acres

(Scroll to the bottom to see the latest update about the fire.)

Smith Run fire
The Smith Run fire as seen from the Hogback Overlook, looking North to MP 14-10. Browntown Valley is on the right. Photo from NPS Facebook page.

The Smith Run fire in Shenandoah National Park in west-central Virginia has burned 1,803 acres along the main artery through the park, Skyline Drive, requiring the closure of the highway between Front Royal and Rt. 211.

Shenandoah NP Smith Run fire
Smith Run fire. In the foreground, three firefighters stand near some sheds. In the distance, white smoke rises from several ridgetops in the mountains. Photo from Inciweb.

The fire is being managed by the Southern Region’s “Red” Type 1 Incident Management Team as part of a complex of fires, which also includes three fires on the George Washington/Jefferson National Forests: the Pickle Branch, Chestnut Ridge and Coffman fires. Since the fire started Saturday morning the team and the park have done a great job of providing information about the fire with updates on the park’s web site, photos on the park’s 75th Anniversary Facebook page, and an InciWeb page which has current information and a progression map of the fire (below).

Map of the Smith Run fire in Shenandoah National Park
Map of the Smith Run fire in Shenandoah National Park. Updated Feb. 21 at 6:00 a.m. Click to enlarge.

Rain and snow in the forecast should slow down the spread of the fire, but it may complicate their plans for some burnouts on Monday. Crews from the National Park Service, the Monongahela National Forest and Asheville Interagency Hotshots continue to work the fire, along with engines from the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Additional crews have been requested.

UPDATE @ 4:25 ET, Feb. 21

According to Shenandoah NP’s Twitter account the burnout operation scheduled for today has been cancelled. They also mentioned that the fire now has it’s own dedicated Facebook Page, adding to the multiple ways they are distributing information about the fire.

From the weather forecast, it appears that the fire is over, with three to five inches of snow predicted for Monday night. Here are the details:

Monday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a steady temperature around 42. North wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Monday night: Rain before 8pm, then rain and sleet between 8pm and 10pm, then snow after 10pm. Low around 25. East wind between 15 and 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Tuesday: Snow before 7am. High near 31. North wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

weather forecast Shenandoah National Park

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Fire in Shenandoah National Park burns 1,800 acres”

  1. Hi Bill,
    I worked this fire w Va DoF. I posted a few pix on the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue facebook page. Thank you to the people of Browntown for their support!


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