The Cliff Fire is located 5 miles southeast of Glasgow, Virginia and 5 miles northwest of Big Island, Virginia in Bedford County. The fire is located south of US-501 and the James River within the James River Face Wilderness on the Jefferson National Forest. The entire fire is on National Forest lands.
The fire is being estimated at 2 – 5 acres and is now 30% contained. The fire has not expanded in coverage over the past few days and the cooler temperatures, light rain and high humidity in the region have been helpful in suppressing the fire, but not extinguishing it.
On the other hand, the steep and rocky terrain has made it difficult for firefighters to work and contain the burn. Approximately 15 firefighters from the US Forest Service are working the fire. Containment lines are currently being updated to help contain the spread of the fire.
The cooler conditions today along with the higher humidity levels and cloud cover is aiding in the firefighting efforts. The significant dry conditions of the past few weeks and the heat have left a good amount of fuel on the ground which is adding the the difficulty of fighting the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and was reported approximately 10:30 am Friday morning.
According to USDA Forest Service trail and parking area closures are expected to be in place for several days in the region of the fire. Smoke from the fire will be evident in the area for several days. Here are the updated closures as of 7 pm Sunday night: The Appalachian Trail (Trail #1) between US-501 at the James River south to Petites Gap Road (Road #35), and the James River Foot Bridge Parking Area are now reopened to public use. Matts Creek Trail (Old A.T.) remains closed and will remain closed indefinitely. The Appalachian Trail and the James River Foot Bridge Parking Area will be evaluated daily while firefighting efforts are ongoing. Temporary future closures may become necessary as weather and fire conditions change.