VOLUNTOWN — The state’s environmental agency is expanding the parts of the Pachaug State Forest that will be closed because of the continued presence of a mosquito-borne virus.
The state will conduct ground spraying in the area known as Mt. Misery or Chapman to reduce the number of mosquitoes, the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection said Tuesday.
Specifically, the ultra low-volume spraying will take place on all state property bounded by Route 201 on the west, Route 49 on the east, Hell Hollow Road to the north and Route 138 to the south.
On Aug. 21, the agency closed two of its campgrounds in Pachaug State Forest because the eastern equine encephalitis virus was detected in human-biting mosquitoes.
“Based on the continued presence of EEE in this portion of Pachaug State Forest, and in consultation with the mosquito management team, it was decided to close a larger area of the forest and to spray in an attempt to minimize the number of mosquitoes in the vicinity,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty in a press release.
The campgrounds and the newly-closed portion of the state forest will remain closed until further notice.
The eastern equine encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
At 24,000 acres, Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in Connecticut. It is spread out over five towns.
Text by Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant; video by Angelica Spanos, Fox CT