A fire burning in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park has forced officials to close several trails and Skyline Drive used by trout fishermen to access streams. The Rocky Mountain Fire 2016 has burned about 500 acres, but adds the burn has been entirely within the boundaries of the national park. To ensure safety, Skyline Drive has been closed from Swift Run Gap (mile 65) south to Loft Mountain (mile 79). The Appalachian Trail has also been closed from Simmons Gap (mile 72) south to Ivy Creek Overlook (mile 76). The Pinefield Hut (mile 75) is closed. The Rocky Mount Trail, the Gap Run Trail, and the Onemile Trail continue to be closed until further notice.
According to the NPS, the fire is burning in the park’s Fire Ecology Zone, which means they will allow the fire to burn in order to achieve "natural resource benefits" for the park’s environment. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it’s believed to be caused by peoples. The NPS says it will continue to monitor the fire, and make adjustments to the burn as needed to keep the fire within the Fire Ecology Zone.