Fireworks Set Off Blaze At Popular West Virginia Climbing Destination

Jul 3, 2017

Law enforcement responded to a fire this weekend at one of West Virginia’s most recognizable landmarks.

Officials said guests at the Seneca Rocks area of the Monongahela National Forest set off fireworks that sparked a blaze around the Lower Slabs climbing area at around 10 p.m. Saturday. The fire and its plume were still visible through the wee hours Monday morning.

Massive and intimidating, the craggy, knife-edge landscape of Seneca Rocks draws serious rock climbers from southwestern Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, to its fiercely vertical routes.

The mountaintop, which can be reached without technical climbing gear, once hosted American combat troops training to fight in Italy's Apennine Range during World War II.

West Virginia law allows for the sale and use of fireworks, but not on public land.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.