Steep Valley Fire Closure update

  • Activity – no new fire growth
  • Size – continues to hold at 2,206 acres
  • Containment – up to 95%

The New River Gorge National River Park and reserve would like to remind the public that the closure is still in effect for the War Ridge and Backus Mountain areas of the park. We understand this is a popular hunting area, but firefighters remain in the area. For the safety of the firefighters, we ask the public’s continued assistance in keeping that area clear to allow them room to work.  We will update the public when this area reopens.

Closure Order area: 

A closure order remains in place for all National Park Service lands bounded by the New River on the south and west to the town of Quinnimont, due east along State Highway 41 to the intersection with Backus-Red Spring Road, then continues directly south to the CSX railroad right of way at the river.

The Steep Valley Fire in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve was discovered on Monday, November 6th, 2023, at around 2:00 PM. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Occasional fire updates will be posted here until fire managers are confident the fire is fully suppressed and contained. Management of the fire transitioned to a Type 4 organization at 6:00 AM, Saturday, November 18th.

The War Ridge Campground and the Backus Mountain area are currently the only areas in the park that remain closed at this time. The access road beyond the campground is closed as well. For detailed information about the closure area, please visit the Closures section of this incident page. View a Map of the closure area around the fire. The remainder of the park is open for normal hours of operation. Park and fire managers will reassess the fire closures when conditions warrant any changes.

Visitors to New RIver Gorge National Park & Preserve are reminded that launching, landing or operating of any/all drones (UAS) is strictly prohibited within the park boundary. For complete information about the ban of drone use at the park, please review the park’s Superintendent’s Compendium.