Big Meadows trails and Rapidan Road remain closed due to wildfire at Shenandoah National Park

Cheryl E Preston
Photo byWikipedia

Shenandoah National Park blaze cleanup in underway

If you were about to make a trek through Shenandoah National Park this weekend you will have to change your plans. WRIC in Luray is reporting that several areas of the park remain closed due to workers cleaning up after a wildfire burned 13 acres on Thursday. Electricity was cut in the Big Meadow area out of concern that the blaze was close to powerlines and Big Meadows trails as well as Rapidan Road remain closed.

The park's Facebook Page gave the update on Friday but as of one hour ago their last post was about enjoying the park and nothing has been said about the closed areas being reopened. Big Meadows is the largest open area in Shenandoah National Park with an elevation of 3548 feet and is located across from the Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center.

The meadows host numerous sparrows with chipping, field and song sparrows all being numerous and easy to spot. Other residents of the meadow include eastern bluebird, indigo bunting, eastern towhee and American goldfinch. The clear open view of the sky makes raptor watching easy. Look for turkey and black vultures, red-tailed hawk, and American kestrels.

During migration season you might also see large numbers of broad-winged hawks and occasionally a bald eagle or golden eagle.

In April 2016 a wildfire at Shenandoah National Park consumed 1000 acres of land and was still burning 10 days later. More than 350 firefighters-some from as far away as Puerto Rico assisted in getting the blaze under control. Thankfully the fire on Thursday only required 25 firefighters and was quickly maintained. Be on the lookout for updates related to when Rapidan Road and Big Meadows trails will reopen.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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