A fire near the border of Shenandoah and Page counties continues to grow, fire officials say. (Photo by Kassondra Cloos)
A wildfire has consumed about 450 acres of national forestland and is expected to continue growing before firefighters can get it under control, according to officials with the U.S. Forest Service.
The South Fork Fire was reported on Monday at about 2:30 p.m. The size of the blaze was reported to be about 250 acres on Tuesday. A cause has not yet been determined and officials have no estimate at this point on how long it will take to contain.
About 100 people are working to contain the blaze, which is completely within the George Washington National Forest. The fire is straddling the border between Page and Shenandoah counties and is northwest of Luray and southeast of Woodstock. The Forest Service has closed off Habron Gap Trail and the Massanutten National Recreation Trail from Habron Gap to Indian Grave Ridge until further notice.
The fire is in a particularly steep and rocky area, making it difficult to attack, said Stephanie Chapman, public information officer for the forest service. Firefighters are working to establish control lines to protect private property. Helicopters are dumping water on the fire as well. No homes are in danger, and the fire is not expected to pose a threat to residential areas.
Smoke can be seen for miles around, including from Interstate 81 in both Shenandoah and Rockingham counties.
The Daily News-Record will continue to update this story as details become available and will have a complete report in Thursday's print and web editions.