The Ash Heap is the most desolate region of Appalachia, destroyed for the enormous riches available to those determined enough to take them. Historically, the region was the site of great mining initiatives and even greater struggles between miners and those who bought their labor. Mount Blair was a focal point of these mining efforts for decades. Before the Great War, it was turned into a large-scale coal mining site, with gigantic digging machines like the Rockhound destroying a majority of the mountain by the late 2070s.
However, this did not happen without repercussions. The strip-mining caused enormous ecological damage. This turned the entire region into a slagged expanse of mined rock and dumping grounds. By 2077, the situation got to the point that toxic ash was routinely dumped into the atmosphere and carried by the wind to adjacent towns, covering them in harmful ash and forcing the Appalachians to wear gas masks in order to go about their daily lives.
The culprits behind this ecological disaster were the Garrahans and Hornwrights, the two major families in charge of Appalachia's mining industry. They owned lavish estates in the mountains overlooking the mines. The Hornwrights bear most of the burden: The Rockhound polluted the air until it was almost unbreathable and when the Clear Skies Alliance offered co-ownership of air scrubbers that could clear the skies, Hornwright promptly repurposed them as ash forges to extract minerals from the polluted air and increase their bottom line. To maximize their efficiency, the company literally set the mines on fire to fill the air with toxic, resource-rich smoke that could then be harvested.
By 2103, the mine fires continue to burn, releasing smoke and ash into the air. This forces residents and travelers to continue wearing gas masks in order to obtain breathable, freshy-filtered air. The Blue Ridge Caravan Company established an outpost at Big Bend Tunnel East, using the tunnel to cross the Savage Divide. The Blood Eagles, a hostile gang of raiders, settled into and repurposed many old campsites across the region, producing bases such as the Rollins labor camp.
The Ash Heap is a dark, barren, rocky region. Smoke and cinders bellow up from the region's mines, sent to the surface by unceasing, raging fires in the tunnels below. The region's air is toxic, consisting of arsenic, cadmium, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide, with the more polluted and smoke-filled areas requiring proper airborne protection at the risk of acquiring lung disease.
Weather occurring in the region 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 Ash Heap, 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 firecracker berries, silt bean plants, blight caps, and starlight berries.
The Ash Heap is in the southwestern portion of the Appalachia map and contains the following locations:
- Abandoned mine shaft 1
- Abandoned mine shaft 2
- Abandoned mine shaft 3
- Abandoned mine shaft 4
- Abandoned mine shaft 5
- Abandoned mine shaft 6
- Abandoned mine shaft Elaine
- Abandoned mine site Kittery
- AMS testing site
- Belching Betty
- Big Bend Tunnel campsite
- Brim Quarry
- The Burning Mine
- Camden Park
- Garrahan Estate
- Garrahan Mining Headquarters
- Hornwright air purifier site 01
- Hornwright air purifier site 02
- Hornwright air purifier site 03
- Hornwright air purifier site 04
- Hornwright testing site 2
- Hornwright testing site 3
- Hornwright testing site 4
- Janelle's camp
- Lake Reynolds
- Lewisburg Station
- Pleasant Hills Cemetery
- Mount Blair
- Mount Blair coffee shack
- Mount Blair trainyard
- Nicholson's End
- Pylon ambush site
- Relay tower HG-B7-09
- Red Rocket filling station
- Riverside cottage
- Rollins labor camp
- The Rusty Pick
- Sludge trailer
- The Sludge Works
- Striker Row
- Unfinished mansion
- Van Lowe Taxidermy
- Vault 63
- Welch Station
- Widow's Perch
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."
- Lewisburg terminal entries; Lewisburg visitor's center terminal, Lewisburg Newsletter
- 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."
- Template:Unused Hornwright air purifier site terminal entries; Terminal: Dominick Heyward, MOST RECENT MESSAGE: You Fucking Thieves
- 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: "In the region survivors dubbed the "Ash Heap," a thick layer of filthy smoke blankets the area, providing cover for friend and foe alike."
- Charleston Fire Department Protectron: " "
- Region data for Ash Heap (MtnRemovalObjectRegion)
- Region data for Ash Heap (MountBlairCoalFireRegion)