Firefighters continue battle against Pendleton fire in Mon Forest
PETERSBURG, W.Va. -- Firefighters continue to battle a blaze that broke out in the Monongahela National Forest over the weekend.State and federal forestry officials say fire crews continue with containment efforts on the Smoke Hole fire that was first reported Sunday afternoon in The Monongahela National Forest, about 11 miles southwest of Petersburg. About 18 states have sent help to fight the fire, which has so far damaged about 1,400 acres of the national forest and about 35 acres of private land.The U.S. Forest Service has jurisdiction over the national forest, while the West Virginia Division of Forestry is in charge of fires burning on private lands. Both agencies are working together to fight the Smoke Hole fire, officials said.Firefighters concentrated efforts on creating fire lines along the fire's southeastern edge on Wednesday. State and federal officials say the fire is about 20 percent contained.More than 700 acres had burnt by Tuesday. Forestry officials said rising temperatures and unusually dry weather could help feed the fire.Forestry officials don't yet know when the fire may be completely contained.