Rain making spread of Matts Creek fire 'nearly impossible'
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Hundreds of firefighters and others are still working to contain a large wildfire in the Jefferson National Forest, but rain moving through the Commonwealth on Tuesday should help.
The U.S. Forest Service says the Matts Creek fire has burned more than 11,000 acres since it started on Nov. 12.
It is now 33 percent contained.
A strong weather system is bringing up to three inches of rain to the fire area on Tuesday, which fire officials say will make fire spread “nearly impossible.”
Thanks to this weather and previous efforts to control the fire, firefighters will take a pause from field operations on Tuesday, focusing on training and equipment maintenance instead.
They will return to the fire area on Wednesday to resume work to contain the fire and begin any necessary repairs.
The cause of the Matts Creek fire is still under investigation.
Additionally, officials say another small fire near Snowden, the Hercules fire, was caused by human activity and not the result of a spot fire from the Matts Creek fire.
The Hercules fire is fully contained.
The rain is also helping to improve air quality by removing smoke and ash particles from the air.