Madison County fire spreads to nearly 300 acres
MADISON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The brush fire that started earlier this week in Madison County has now burned more than 280 acres.
“With the dry conditions and the lack of moisture, it's just almost a perfect situation for the fire to continue to spread. And the terrain and topography make it even more challenging because we are unable to attack as directly as we may like to,” Kevin Dawson of the Virginia Department of Forestry said.
Dawson says that even with the fire’s rapid spread, there is no threat of evacuation at the moment because of its very remote location.
"At this time, we don't believe there is any need for evacuation and if that ever came, we would certainly let people know. We are lucky because the fire is what we would consider to be a remote location. At this time there are no structures threatened and there is no danger to the public,” Dawson said.
However, with the fire’s tricky terrain, crews have had to manually build fire lines and work to remove the fuel for the fire with bulldozers, shovels and rakes.
“It's a large incident for us. We have had multiple citizen volunteers, some of them are on the mountain right now holding picks and shovels and digging lines along with Department of Forestry personnel,” Emergency Management Coordinator, Gavin Helme said.
The Department of Forestry last reported the fire to have consumed 280 acres, but it was expected to continue to grow throughout Saturday as conditions remained dry. But Helme is hopeful that with the help of those involved, and volunteers they will be able to take control.
"They talk about Madison strong, and we are very proud of our first responders and citizens in the county,” Helme said.
We will be following this closely and will update as we learn more.