In the video below, Superintendent Jim Northup describes the 20,000-acre Maximum Management Area within which Shenandoah National Park hopes to contain the Rocky Mtn Fire.
(UPDATED at 10:35 p.m. EDT, April 21, 2016)
There is news related to the disappearance of 31-year-old Nicole Mittendorff, the missing firefighter from Fairfax, Virginia whose car was found in Shenandoah National Park. She was first reported missing Friday of last week when she did not show up at the fire station for her shift. At approximately 2:00 p.m. today a ground team of National Park Service and Virginia State Police personnel discovered a body in a remote location more than a mile from the Whiteoak Canyon parking area and about 330 yards from the trail in treacherous rocky terrain. National Park Service and Virginia State Police are currently still processing the scene. The search has been suspended. WTOP reports that the Virginia State Police and the family believe the remains are those of Ms. Mittendorff.
The car and the remains were about 22 miles from the Rocky Mount Fire. There has been no report so far that this incident is related to the wildfire.
As of Thursday afternoon, the fire has burned 7,935 acres.
On Wednesday fire crews improved containment lines by burning out vegetation between the fire and eight miles of containment lines along the northern & northwestern perimeter of the fire. Additional fire line preparation was successfully completed along the Skyline Parkway. Work continues on several dozer lines along the western side of the fire to tie together existing terrain features.
With the changing and variable winds Wednesday fire crews picked up multiple spot fires, catching and containing all of them. These included: on the south eastern side, a spot fire north of the Patterson Ridge Trail west of the Plainfield hut, one small one on the northwest corner of the fire and 6 small spot fires near the One Mile Trail Run.
After it’s been burning for five days, the Incident Management Team put out word today that the name is now “Rocky Mtn Fire 2016”.
(UPDATED at 1:40 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2016)
The Rocky Mount Fire in Shenandoah National Park has expanded to 5,600 acres, according to the Type 1 incident management team that assumed command of the fire Wednesday morning. The fire is burning in mountain laurel, pine, and oak forests with heavy leaf litter.
On Tuesday afternoon the fire burned across Skyline Drive blackening 80 to 100 acres on the east side of the highway near mile marker 76. Today crews are actively suppressing that portion of the fire, assisted by two water dropping helicopters.
Firefighters conducted a burnout operation near the Beldor Hollow Community to help contain the fire to that area. Crews expect the fire will hold at Beldor Hollow Road.
The fire progressed south near Brown Mountain Trail on Tuesday and was active overnight near Two Mile Run Lane. The Virginia Department of Forestry crews monitored the area overnight. Fire crews are providing structure protection near the Two Mile Run and Lam Hollow communities.
Firefighting resources assigned, available, or en route include two air tankers, four helicopters, six engines, for a total of 248 personnel.