Petersburg – Federal, state, and local fire crews continue work on the Castle Fire on Monongahela National Forest Sunday, with the aid of a helicopter. The wildfire is in the Smoke Hole area of Grant County, eight miles southwest of Petersburg, and was active throughout the weekend. The wildfire is now estimated to be about 294 acres. Smoke Hole Road continues to be closed from Upper Tract to Cabins.
“Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe as they work on this fire,” said District Ranger Troy Waskey. “Rain is predicted to come through the area this afternoon and should give our crews a break.”
Fire managers will reassess the fire based on the amount and duration of rain the area receives.
“Forest Service officials are continuing to work alongside volunteer fire departments and the West Virginia Division of Forestry to manage this incident,” said Incident Commander Walt Walter. “We want to thank the local community for supporting your local volunteer fire departments with food and other provisions.”
Prescribed burns that were previously planned for the Big Mountain area in Pendleton County have been put on hold.
The cause of the Castle Fire is under investigation by the USDA Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations. If you have any information about the cause, please contact Grant County 911 at (304) 257-1212
Smoke may be visible from roads in the area. If you encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights, and drive appropriately for the conditions.