HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — As wildfires continue to burn on the West coast, here in Virginia, the Shenandoah National Park is entering its fire season. According to Fire Management Officer for Shenandoah National Park Dave Robinson, right now, the fire danger at the park is low, but that could change as leaves begin to fall.
“Late October into early to mid-November is really when we have that increased potential for fire here at the park, based on that fresh layer of leaves on the forest floor,” Robinson said.
Dead leaves can cause dry conditions, which can be a key factor in wildfires much like some of the ones out West.
In the event of a fire at SNP, Robinson says there are many factors that go into the response strategy, such as size and location of the fire, but overall they are trained and equipped to adjust and suppress fires while keeping the safety in mind.
If you plan to visit SNP, Robinson says you should know what you can do to limit the risk of causing a fire.
“Please remember that campfires are only allowed in designated areas at Shenandoah National Park. We do not allow campfires in the backcountry,” Robinson said.
At Shenandoah National Park, campfires are allowed on campgrounds and picnic areas, and Robinson suggests building a campfire that is manageable to put out. Before you build a fire, make sure you have water to put it out, and when you do, you should drown it with the water, stir it and do not leave it until it is cool.
For more information on fire safety at SNP, visit https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/nature/fire_management.htm.