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Big Mountain Prescribed Burn

Unit Information

Monongahela National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
200 Sycamore Street
Elkins, WV 26241

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Incident Contact

Julie Fosbender
Phone: 304-635-4446
Hours: M-F 8am - 5pm

Highlighted Activity

04/20/2021 Prescribed burning has begun
The test fire was successful and prescribed burning has started in the Big Mountain area south of Circleville in Pendleton County.  This 310-acre burn will be completed today. The burn area is...
Announcement - 04/20/2021
Firefighter standing on a dirt road uses a drip torch to drop fire on a leaf-covered hillside.Image options: [ Full Size ]

This spring Monongahela National Forest officials plan to conduct a prescribed burn on 975 acres of National Forest System land in the Big Mountain area, southwest of Cherry Grove in Pendleton County. The Forest Service burned here in 2019 and will conduct a series of burns in this area for the next several years.

Why do we burn?

Reintroducing fire into the forest will:

  • Restore historic fire regimes
  • Improve wildlife habitat
  • Enhance forest structure and age diversity
  • Improve oak regeneration
  • Control tree diseases and insects
  • Reduce hazardous fuel levels

How do we manage a prescribed burn?

Fire managers prepare a burn plan for each prescribed burn describing the appropriate conditions needed to conduct the burn safely and achieve the desired results. Burn plans consider public safety, protection of private property, staffing and equipment needs, temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke. Appropriate conditions must be met before igniting prescribed burns. A control line is established around each burn area before ignition, using hand tools and other equipment, roads, trails, and natural features such as creeks and other water sources.

Public Safety

Each burn area will be closed to the public on the day of the burn. The area may be closed for several days for public safety. Signs will be posted along the fire line and at entry points into the area. Area residents and travelers may see or smell smoke during fire operations. If you encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights and drive appropriately for the conditions.

Public Notification

The Forest Service will notify local 911 centers and radio stations on the day of the burn. Information, maps and the latest updates are available at


Cheat-Potomac Ranger District 304-257-4488

Public Information Officer Julie Fosbender,, 304-635-4446

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
Coordinates38.604 latitude, -79.595 longitude