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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rain a welcomed sight and more is on the way.

Just what Smokey ordered.

Easter Complex

Current acreage: 39,538 acres, 80% contained

**This is the FINAL Easter Complex media update from the Southern Area Blue Team. Call (540) 525 – 1539 for future updates.

Buena Vista, Va - Steady rain for a six to 12 hour period Wednesday will continue to assist firefighters on the Easter Complex fire. Upwards of one half inch of rain is expected throughout the day, which will significantly contribute to suppression efforts. All fires on the Easter Complex are in a mopup and hold status as firefighters continue to improve containment lines around all fires.

Despite today’s rain, smoke from interior portions of fires within the Easter Complex may be present for some days. This smoke is from any remaining unburned fuels within the containment lines. Crews will continue to monitor and patrol these areas until each fire is completely suppressed.

Demobilization of excess resources began Tuesday, and will continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The Southern Area Blue Team (The Incident Management Team in charge of managing the Easter Complex) is transitioning control of the Easter Complex back to the local districts on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Thursday morning. Crews from 29 states across the country will begin traveling home today.

The following is a summary of all Easter Complex Fires:

· Alleghany Tunnels Fire: 11,381 acres, 90% containment.

· Barbours Creek Fire: 7,352 acres, 80% containment.

· Porter Mills: 879 acres, 100% containment

· Rich Hole Fire: 15,454 acres, 75% containment.

· Shipwreck Fire: 3,717 acres, 100% containment.

· Wolf Gap: 755 acres, 95% containment.


Assigned to Complex:

36 Engines

4 Dozers

5 Helicopters

15 Hand Crews

694 Personnel


Incident Commander

Blue Team- Mike Wilkins

Cooperators: Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, various county resources, numerous local and county law enforcement agencies and volunteer fire departments.

Closures: The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests have issued closure orders that remain in effect for areas surrounding the Easter Complex Wildfires. Revisions are in progress for these closure orders. The most recent amendment affects the Rich Hole Fire. The area closed to public use at the Rich Hole Fire includes the Rich Hole Trail (Trail # 464) and Forest Road 108. It also includes all National Forest System lands within a boundary defined by the Rich Hole Trail, Forest Road 108 and state route 850.

Homeowners are encouraged to visit for information on how to make their homes more defensible from wildfires. In addition, Ready, Set, Go is another good website for homeowners living in or near the forest.

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