Prescribed Burn in Rockingham County

Some eastern Rockingham County residents should expect to see smoke in the Massanutten Second Mountain area.

Forestry officials are holding a prescribed burn that will cover about 1,000 acres along Forest Development Road 65 in the George Washington National Forest.

This is the third time the area will undergo a prescribed burn, or controlled fire, to improve the health of the forest and to aid in suppressing a wildfire should one start nearby.

Officials say they expect the fire to create a large plume of smoke.

Smoke is expected to be visible by Thursday afternoon and should dissipate by Thursday evening.

At night, the smoke may go down the mountain into the town of Shenandoah in Page County and the surrounding area.

The forest service expects it to be at its thickest around midnight.

Road 65 will be closed to the public during the burn, which is expected to take a few days.

Such burns help enhance habitat for local wildlife, reduce accumulated materials that could burn in a wildfire, recycle nutrients the forest and local animals or plants need, minimize insect populations, and reduce the spread of disease.

They can also encourage the growth of native trees and plants as well as remove invasive species that could threaten the health of local forest.

Anyone with questions about this prescribed burn can contact the Lee Ranger District at 540-984-4101.