After more than three weeks, there’s good news from rural Grant County.
It’s the kind of announcement federal Forest Service officials had been hoping to make since early October.
Not only is the North Mountain Fire 90 percent contained, the area is once again open to the public.
Although the blaze scarred 198 acres, the last couple of days have been “very quiet” at the fire site, according to a daily press briefing.
No smoke or heat was visible within the fire area, and federal firefighters no longer needed there have been dismissed.
At one point, 88 firefighters were on the scene and a helicopter was being used to drop water into the treacherous terrain.
Now only 26 firefighters remain.
The fire is located approximately 12 miles west of Petersburg in the Monongahela National Forest.
There is still no word on the fire’s origin, and it continues to be under investigation.
Since the closures are no longer in place, the North Fork Mountain Trail is now open.
However caution is advised when traveling or recreating through the area.
Local agencies continuing to help include: Grant County Office of Emergency Services & 911, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department and the West Virginia Division of Forestry.