Foresters using controlled burn technique to help end Hidden Valley wildfire

Foresters explain the process of extinguishing wildfires.
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 7:26 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2023 at 7:05 AM EDT
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PENDLETON COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) - Responders said handling an emergency like the Hidden Valley wildfire is a very fluid process.

UPDATE: The Hidden Valley Wildfire became fully contained around 7 p.m. Saturday evening, according to the Franklin Volunteer Fire Department.

The mop-up phase is ongoing where personnel will be checking burn lines and hotspots periodically.

Pendleton County Emergency Services Coordinator Rick Gillespie said approximately 1700 acres were affected.

ORIGINAL STORY: Assistant State Forester Linda Carnell shared that there are direct and indirect ways to fight forest fires. The direct method uses water but fighting indirectly includes using a dozer line to control the perimeter.

“They put a line all the way up both flanks and at the head of the fire. The head of the fire is where the fire is going, and we want to cut it off,” Carnell shared.

Fire needs air, fuel, and heat to stay active. West Virginia’s Division of Forestry is conducting controlled burns within the containment lines to counteract the wildfire spread.

“These controlled fires are meant to burn downhill, backward very slowly; and what that does is it consumes the fuel that the head of the fire needs. Once the head of the fire and the controlled burn meet that’s the end of it,” Carnell shared.

West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice has a burning ban in place for all outdoor activities until further notice.

The 1500 acres impacted by the Hidden Valley fire remain under control. It is still being monitored but Carnell confirmed that there are going to be some flames and smoke around for the burnout.

“We just have to let the fire do what it needs to do. It’s within the black, that’s what we determine places that have already been burnt but we know there’s gonna be several smoldering long smoldering trees and things like that,” Carnell shared.

These are firefighting tactics practiced that bring results and prevent safety hazards.

The rain shower from above will help bring an end to this wildfire.

The West Virginia Division of Forestry keeps track of the fires that occur in a snapshot...
The West Virginia Division of Forestry keeps track of the fires that occur in a snapshot timeframe.(WHSV)

The fire report is updated in real-time for all the occurrences in the state.