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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feb 14th and 19th Wildfires in Virginia 2011

One of the many homes protected by the Virginia Department of Forestry and Fire Departments during the fires on the 19th.

Valentines Day was a bad day in paradise and the 19th was even worse. In fact it was the second single worst fire day in DOF in modern history.  We have been asked numerous times today what was the worst and what were the numbers, so here are the official numbers you should refer to if asked.
The single worst day as far as fires and numbers go was Feb 10, 2008 when we had 354 fires that burned 16,112 acres. On these fires there were 30 homes/other structures damaged and 248 were protected.
For us Protected = If it was not for the suppression actions of Forestry and Fire Departments these structures would have been a statistic in the other column.
On Feb 14th, Valentine’s Day, we had 103 fires for 828 acres.  On these fires there were a total of 18 homes/structures damaged and 218 Protected.
The Feb 19th fires by number are as follows (these are the best facts we currently have), a total of 190 fires burned 7,608acres with 104 homes/structures damaged and 896 protected.
A BIG fact is that if we include the Feb 14th and Feb 19th fires together we can say that we have had more homes/people evacuated-impacted by wildfires during these 2 weeks than we have had in ANY previous year.  These figures further emphasize the challenge we are facing in Virginia related to increasing population and growth in the Wildland Urban Interface.  FIREWISE is more important than ever and needs to be more than a catchy phrase.  We need to promote it vigorously and homeowners and community leaders need to know what they can do to help mitigate the impact from wildfires.  The following link, www.firewisevirginia.orq, is a very good website to go to for information. Also, is another good site to visit get more information on the recent fires and other fire-related information.
One important “fact” is that we have had NO serious injuries or fatalities in suppressing these fires. While there have been a few injuries on the fireline, as far as we know everyone was either treated on scene or in the emergency room and all of them have returned to work or been released to go home.

Major fire activity Acres and other stats are current as of 2/22/2011

  • Louisa County: (Chopping Road Fire), Estimated at 900 acres; 2 structures destroyed and 7 structures minor damage. 75 homes protected.
  • Louisa County-Garners Rd Fire- 75 ac with 20 homes protected.
  • Louisa County Buckner Fire: 65 acres with 15 homes protected.
  • Albemarle County: (Ragged Mountain Fire); 700 acres 61 structures protected.
  • Albemarle County: Esmont Rd. Fire-40 ac with 10 homes protected.
  • Amherst County:
    Pendleton Drive
    Fire At 100 ac with 25 homes protected.
  • Shenandoah County (Crooked Run Rd) 332 acres..
  • Goochland County: 273 acres with 25 protected 1 destroyed.
  • Gloucester County: 400 and 229 acres.
  • Middlesex County: 524 acres.
  • Brunswick County: 2 fires 80 acres each.
  • Fauquier County: Thompson Mill Rd. Fire- 200 ac with 5 homes protected.
  • New Kent County: 55 acres; closed I-64 for a short time.
  • Chesterfield: numerous fires largest was 30 ac on the 19th juveniles playing with lighters were the cause of two significant fires.
  • Bedford County: 35 acres.
  • Rockingham County: Kauffman Fire-1,262 ac-Private and 1,200 federal with 120 homes protected.
  • Shenandoah County: Crooked Run Fire- 300 ac with 11 homes protected with an evacuation.
  • Scott County: (Midol Fire) on Powell Mountain, 550 + acres.
  • Warren County: Lookout Mtn Fire- 24 ac with 57 homes protected and one destroyed.
  • Warren County: Brown Town Fire- 200 ac private with 20 homes protected.
  • Fort Pickett Fire: estimated 5000 acres burned since 14 February in live fire impact areas; fire is contained and did not threaten neighbors off post.
  • Fort A.P. Hill: estimated 4500 acres; this fire got off post for about 6 acres.
  • George Washington National Forest and the Shenandoah National Park report four large fires. The Pickle Branch Fire (Craig-Roanoke County) at 665 acres, The Coffman Fire(GW/JEFF NF), 1,262 ac on private land and 1,293 ac on federal lands and Chestnut Fire (Shenandoah National Park), 135 ac on private land and 965 ac on federal lands in Rockingham County combined into 1 big fire. ) at 3,655 acres,  many structures located south of the fire, some evacuations were completed. And the Smith Run Fire (Warren-Rappahannock County) at 1,950 acres.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the "run-down", knew I could count on you to share the totals.