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Little progress made Monday on Point 2 wildfire

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

As of Monday evening, the Point 2 wildfire located on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests' lands in Shenandoah and Warren Counties continued to burn on 982 acres with 45 percent under containment.

Cindy Frenzel, spokeswoman for George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Lee Ranger District, said Monday that while the fire was estimated to be fully contained by Wednesday, the date probably isn't accurate anymore.

"The fourth [of July] was just an estimate," she said. "Unfortunately with the recent weather, things have really slowed down."

Frenzel added that the terrain is complicating containment as it's rocky and steep, making access to the fire difficult.

The total personnel count was at 218 on Monday, and included crews from Warren and Shenandoah Counties, as well as South Carolina, Arkansas and Maryland. Three helicopters were used to drop water, bring supplies to firefighters and provide aerial ignition for burnout operations.

Frenzel said that while the U.S. Forest Service had anticipated more smoke Monday, she actually saw less since crews weren't able to conduct much inside burning.

Tuesday, crews will hold and improve fire lines, continue burnouts in three divisions and begin mop-ups in areas already contained, according to Frenzel.

"We've made quite a big of progress," she said.

Lightning is said to be the cause of the fire, which started on Monday, June 25.

There are still no roads closed, although Massanutten National Recreation Trail from Shawl Gap to Veach Gap, Tuscarora Trail from Shawl Gap to Panhandle Road, Sherman Gap Trail, Veach Gap Trail, and the Little Crease Trail Shelter are all closed.

A nearby fire on Neighbor Mountain in Page County also continued to blaze Monday. As of Monday evening, the fire had spread to 1,125 acres and is at 20 percent containment. 237 personnel members were helping in containment efforts.

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