By April 8, 2016 Read More →

Fire chars 20 acres, boardwalk in New River Gorge

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo courtesy National Park Service A wildfire that broke out Wednesday destroyed portions of the newly completed boardwalk and stairway system that provided access to viewpoints overlooking the New River at Turkey Spur in the Grandview area of New River Gorge National River.

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo courtesy National Park Service
A wildfire that broke out Wednesday destroyed portions of the newly completed boardwalk and stairway system that provided access to viewpoints overlooking the New River at Turkey Spur in the Grandview area of New River Gorge National River.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Rain showers helped slow the pace of a wildfire that broke out Wednesday near the Turkey Spur Overlook in the New River Gorge National River’s Grandview area, where firefighters continued working to contain the blaze Thursday.

Before rain moved into the area shortly after midnight Thursday, the wind-fanned fire jumped a containment line, according to New River Gorge spokeswoman Julena Campbell. It charred about 20 acres of forest and destroyed a portion of a newly built boardwalk and stairway.

“The fire started near the overlook and began working its way downslope really fast,” Campbell said. “Reports of a second fire in the Prince area came in around midnight, but when crews arrived on scene, it was determined that it was the same fire that had just progressed down the slope.”

About 40 firefighters from the National Park Service, the West Virginia Division of Forestry, and the Beaver, Coal City, Bradley-Prosperity, Ghent and Sophia Area volunteer fire departments fought the blaze on the steep, rocky slope below the overlook on Wednesday.

On Thursday, 16 firefighters were on the scene to continue the work of bringing the fire under control. As of Thursday morning, the fire was estimated to be 20 percent contained…

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