Wildfire debris cleared from Blue Ridge Parkway, traffic now able to pass through

Matts Creek wildfire stalls at 11,020 acres, now 57% contained as of Nov. 21, 2023 thanks to much-needed rain (Credit: U.S. Forest Service - George Washington and Jefferson National Forest) (WSLS)

The Blue Ridge Parkway is back open after crews worked to clear debris from the Matts Creek wildfire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Fire-weakened trees and other debris on and along the parkway were removed, and traffic is now able to safely pass through.

[UPDATES: Matts Creek wildfire]

With Tuesday’s rain, drivers are urged to proceed carefully, especially at higher elevations as the roadway may be icy at times.

Forest Service officials said there were two inches of rain that came down Tuesday, helping to reduce wildfire activity.

We’re told two inches of rain is equivalent to about 600 million gallons of water across the fire area. The 600 million gallons of water is about the same as 200,000 air tanker drops or two million Type 6 engine water tanks used on the fire, officials said.

As of Tuesday evening, the fire had stalled at 11,020 acres and was 57% contained.

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Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.