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Hikers need to know about fire in Appalachian Trail area near Roanoke; shuttles available

Closures and advisories:
Shuttles for Appalachian Trail hikers are in place to transport hikers from the 311 Gap to the Daleville 220 Park and Ride. A 19.8-mile stretch of the A.T. remains closed. State Route 311 to State Route 220 including the service road to McAffe Knob also remains closed. Firefighters have dealt with numerous downed trees.
Current fire size: 165 acres
Containment: 60%
Resources: 70 firefighters, 3 engines, 1 bulldozer, 1 helicopter
Agencies on scene: Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Va. Department of Forestry

Roanoke, Virginia: The Catawba Valley Fire along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Roanoke County Virginia is about 60% contained with a goal today of 90% containment. According to Denny McCarthy of the Virginia Department of Forestry, with an aggressive containment strategy and successful execution throughout Sunday night, firefighters were able to establish control holding the burned acreage to 165, down from the 325 originally estimated. Several previously threatened structures have been protected and there have been no injuries. The cause is still under investigation. McCarthy noted excellent cooperation among the involved agencies.

Shuttles are in place today for Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers since a 19.8-mile portion of the historic 2100-mile footpath is closed. Hikers are being shuttled from the Route 311 Gap to the Daleville 220 Park and Ridge. The fire is burning mostly on National Park Service land associated with the A.T.

Extremely low relative humidity has caused dry conditions and officials are asking the public to use caution and to avoid the area around the fire. There is also concern about downed trees; firefighters dealt with several overnight and there remains a risk of more.

Yesterday, firefighters conducted burnout operations. The public may have noticed increased fire activity around 3:00 p.m. as the fire encountered mountain laurel and rhododendrons, but this activity was all within the established fire area. Today‚Äôs plan includes a goal of 90% containment and firefighters will begin to secure the existing line. 

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