UPDATE – Saturday
The Blue Ridge Parkway from mile marker 29 to 45 is expected to remain closed until at least 10 a.m. Sunday, depending on weather and containment, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Officials said the fire 48 acres in size and as of 1 p.m. Saturday, over 50% is contained.
The cause of the wildfire is undetermined at this time, the Forest Service said.
Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Amherst County will be closed throughout the weekend as firefighters continue to put out a wildfire.
Amherst County firefighters expect to have a busy weekend trying to put out pockets of fire following wildfires that broke out Friday afternoon.
Jenny Kotyk with the U.S. Forest Service said the fire spread across parts of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests.
“There was a wildfire that broke out on the eastern side of the blue ridge on national forest land and it has come over to the Blue Ridge Parkway onto the western side,” Kotyk said.
45 firefighters from different agencies are working throughout the night to set up a perimeter around the fire.
Kotyk said there are no injuries or damage to any homes currently.
The public will not be able to travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway from mile marker 29 to 45 this weekend.
Kotyk said residents in surrounding areas like Buena Vista and Lexington can expect to see smoke throughout the next couple of days as well.
We’re told wildfires like these are pretty common for this time of year, and Friday’s weather conditions made it very easy for a wildfire to break out. Because of this, crews were ready to respond quickly.
Amherst County Public Safety says their crews are fighting two large wildfires in the county.
As of 4 p.m., crews were working on both of the fires, according to the department.
We’re told one fire is near Route 60 West in the National Forest, which has jumped the parkway.
Amherst Public Safety, volunteers, and other agencies are assisting with the Route 60 fire, crews said, and multiple helicopters are aiding with the effort.
The second fire is near Joshua Falls Road with Public Safety and volunteers on sight managing the fire, authorities said.
“According to the National Weather Service, Amherst County is currently experiencing enhanced fire danger,” the Public Safety department wrote in a Facebook post. “Please be advised that Virginia is under its annual 4:00 pm burn ban until the end of the month. Please remember to burn responsibly.”
According to the US Forestry Service, the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed from Milepost 29 to Milepost 45 due to smoke and nearby fire.
Stay with 10 News as this story develops
Source: WSLS News 10
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