The Mount Blair region was the location of a large-scale coal mining operation before the Great War. Two different families, the Garrahans and Hornwrights, established businesses here, subsequently overlooking the mining operations from Bramwell. As part of this industry, large machines such as the Rockhound were used to remove large parts of the mountain at once. This mining operation caused the air quality of surrounding cities such as Lewisburg to deteriorate, prompting leadership to release public service announcements instructing citizens to wear gas masks during inclement weather. Clear Skies Alliance and Hornwright Industrial were developing air purifiers to cleanse the air around Mount Blair.
After the Great War, survivors began to refer to this region the "Ash Heap" due to its harsh environment. A thick layer of filthy smoke and cinders that blankets the area constantly bellow up from the mines, containing several toxins, which results in individuals inhabiting or traveling through necessitating protective breathing equipment. Survivors believe this is caused by fires in the tunnels below, raging unceasingly for some unknown reason. Despite this, the mines underneath the region still hold riches.
Around 2103, the Blue Ridge Caravan Company established an outpost at the western exit of the Big Bend Tunnel, using the tunnel to cross underneath the Savage Divide to the Cranberry Bog. The Blood Eagles have a strong presence in the Ash Heap, having settled into and repurposed many old campsites across the region, such as the Rollins labor camp or the Sludge Works.
The environment of the Ash Heap is dangerous compared to other regions of Appalachia. Toxic air might suffocate the player and for this reason is advised to equip a gas masks or similar to null the effects.
Weather occurring in the Ash Heap is primarily overcast, caused by the polluted smog covering the area. The weather has a 40% chance to be overcast, 40% to be misty, 11% to be an ash storm, 7% to be rainy, and 2% to be a radstorm. Ash storms are a type of weather unique to the region, primarily occurring near Mount Blair. Vegetation is less common in the environment of the Ash Heap, but includes unique flora such as the ash rose as well as blight caps, firecracker berries, silt bean plants, and starlight berries. All lakes and ponds in the region have toxic water, with only two having dirty water instead; Lake Reynolds and the small lake in the Sludge Works.
The Ash Heap is located in the southwest corner of the map, bordered by the Forest to the north and the Savage Divide to the east. The Rockhound sits atop Mount Blair, at the western-central area, northeast of the township of Welch, and mostly surrounded by railroad system. The other two towns, Beckley and Lewisburg, are to the west and east of the mountain respectively. Three main state routes cross through the Ash Heap, including Route 81 running parallel with the Ohio River to the west, and Routes 83 and 84 traversing the center.
The Blue Ridge Caravan Company has an outpost at the Big Bend Tunnel East on the eastern reaches of the region. The Blood Eagles have repurposed many old campsites across the region, and can be easily found between Welch and Lewisburg.
The Ash Heap is in the southwestern portion of the Appalachia map and contains the following locations:
The Ash Heap appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
The Ash Heap contains many real life West Virginian mining locations, such as the Kanawha-Coal River coalfields of Kanawha, Raleigh, Fayette, Logan and Boone County (Mount Blair), Pocahontas coalfields (Welch), Greenbrier County (Lewisburg), and Cabell and Wayne County (Camden Park).
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "Before the war, Mount Blair was a large-scale coal mining site where gigantic digging machines removed entire portions of the mountaintop at once."
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Garrahans and Hornwrights were the two major families in charge of Appalachia's mining industry. They owned lavish estates in the mountains overlooking their precious mines."
- Lewisburg terminal entries; Lewisburg visitor's center terminal, Lewisburg Newsletter
- Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminal entries; CEO's terminal, Personal Entry 03
- Air Purifiers advertisement poster
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "In the region survivors dubbed the "Ash Heap," a thick layer of filthy smoke blankets the area, providing cover for friend and foe alike."
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "Smoke and cinders constantly bellow up from the mines in the Ash Heap. Survivors believed this was caused by fires in the tunnels below, raging unceasingly for some unknown reason."
- Charleston Fire Department Protectron: "The following toxins have been detected: arsenic, cadmium, carbon monoxide, sulfur diox -- error. List exceeds available memory."
- Aries: "Ah, fresh air! Well, freshly filtered ash-infested air! I'll take what I can get, as long as it means I'm still breathing."
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "The mines deep within Appalachia's mountains still hold riches for those brave enough to venture below..."
- Fallout 76 tutorial: "The Ash Heap region's environment is dangerous. Equip a Gas Mask at the first sign of Toxic Air."
- Region data for Ash Heap (MtnRemovalObjectRegion)
- Region data for Ash Heap (MountBlairCoalFireRegion)
- Vault Dweller: "How did Edwin get so sick?"
Beckett: "I'm not sure. His health has gone downhill since coming to Appalachia, probably because he insisted on hanging around the Ash Heap."