The following statement was issued by the chief ranger of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
With the current elevated fire danger across the Mid-Atlantic States hikers are asked to do their part to help protect the trails and forests by using extreme care with fire. Consider avoiding the use of ground fire, even in fire rings, and instead rely on your backpack stove for cooking. This eliminates the potential of leaving dangerous hot coals behind. Additionally, hikers are asked to report any large smoke columns or apparently unattended fires promptly to the local 911 dispatch.
Due to the low humidity and dry fuel conditions many states currently have high fire warnings in effect. New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia have had wild fires burn along the Appalachian Trail this weekend and firefighters suppressed fires near the Trail in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia earlier this year.
Check local conditions and alerts when planning your hike. Watch for and obey all trail closures. Follow instructions for alternate routes that may be identified during fires or fire-fighting activities. Temporary closures and detours are for your safety and will be lifted as soon as conditions permit.