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Wildfires in NC, Virginia close sections of Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Wildfires in Virginia and North Carolina have shut down portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, according to officials.

A Friday release by the Forest Service in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest and the National Interagency Fire Center’s Southern Area Incident Management Red Team announced a closure of the Blue Ridge Parkway from “from milepost 66.3, near US Highway 501, to milepost 85.9, at VA Route 43 until further notice” in relation to the Matts Creek Fire.

The release on the Matts Creek Fire also said a section of the Appalachian Trail from “from James River Foot Bridge to Petites Gap Road” was closed in relation to the wildfire.

The U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina noted another portion of the trail, “from Interstate 40 to Max Patch,” was being closed in relation to the Black Bear Fire. The announcement was made in a Facebook post Friday. 

The Matts Creek Fire and the Black Bear Fire were 2 and 0 percent contained respectively, according to officials. The Matts Creek Fire is significantly larger than the Black Bear Fire, having a coverage of 5,148 acres versus Black Bear’s 1,193 acres.

Shenandoah National Park also said a vehicle fire had spread into the park and caused a closure of the trail.

“The Appalachian Trail is closed from Jarman Gap (mile 98.6) to Rockfish Gap (mile 105) due to wildfire,” Shenandoah National Park posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter on Friday. 

Source: The Hill

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