Update on Royal Orchard Fire

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:35 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:38 AM EST
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NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) UPDATE 11/18/2023: The Royal Orchard Fire is now 100 percent contained as of Saturday evening and closures to Skyline Drive are no more. Rockfish Gap trails are expected to reopen Sunday, November 19th. The fire has burned 29 acres of land.

Firefighters continue to be hard at work to put out any remaining hot spots and mop up any additional flare up within the containment lines.

Although light rain showers fell Friday night, that did little to help the overall fire. The showers did dampen the ground and help minimalize the spreading fire, while keeping fuel wet just long enough for firefighters to gain ground on the fire. Most locations received around one tenth of an inch of rainfall or less.

The forecast remains dry throughout the rest of the weekend but a steady rainfall is likely Tuesday before Thanksgiving, giving more hope to those on the front lines.

NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - A vehicle caught fire along mile marker 100 on Interstate 64 and continues to burn.

The fire is being referred to now as the Royal Orchard Fire, and its estimated size is about 20 acres.

Shenandoah National Park said one crew from the Quaker Run Fire has been diverted to assist with the Royal Orchard Fire.

“It is about 20 acres in size, it is the estimated size right, they have been digging fire line, it is a steep area of the park but they are continuing to progress on suppressing the fire,” said Allysah Fox Public Information Officer for Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park said the fire is broken down into two flanks. On one flank is the Department of Forestry and the National Park Service resources are on the other flank. Fox said there are some closures in the park.

“One Skyline Drive we are closed from Rockfish Gap entrance station all the way north to the Loft Mountain area. As well as long the Appalachian Trail from Rockfish Gap to Jarman Gap,” said Fox.

You can find information on the fires and air quality on Shenandoah National Park’s website.

“They have external links to either our Facebook page where we are posting daily updates. You can also some smoke conditions and air quality outlets we have links to airnow.gov,” said Fox.