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Monday, February 21, 2011

ONLY 2 weeks into Fire season and its been BUSY !!

This is as close as it can get and NOT burn any homes. Wildfire burned right up to homes in Chesterfield  and firefighters had to “backfire” using the sidewalk as a fire break.

Virginia’s Spring Wildfire Season is barely 2 weeks old and we have already had 2 significant weather drived wildfire events. The first occurring February 14th and 15th during which more than 200 fires burned more than 1200 acres. In addition 17 homes or other structures were damaged and over 150 were protected and would have burned if not for direct actions of the firefighters.
The numbers are still coming in on this last rash of wildfires but currently we are reporting more than 150 fires for nearly 2,000 acres. With an additional 17 homes and other structures burned and 138 protected.

4 of Virginia’s Governor McDonnell’s staff tour several of the wildfires that have ravaged Virginia recently.

Carl Garrison (State Forester), Todd Haymore (Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry), Marla Decker (Secretary of Public Safety), and Martin Kent (Chief of Staff) took a helicopter flight yesterday to view first hand some of the devastation and visit with many of the firefighters, home owners, community leaders and those folks who came to the support of the response efforts.

Carl Garrison, State Forester climbs aboard the State Police helicopter that will take him and others on their flight.

Major fire activity
§  Rockingham County and George Washington Jefferson National Forest; North River Ranger District (Coffman Fire): roughly 100 acres on private lands, 2000+ acres on National Forest; many structures located south of the fire, some evacuations were completed
§  Warren County, Bentonville area, and Shenandoah National Park near Chester Gap (Smith Run Fire): 1000+ acre fire burned up and over the
Shenandoah Drive
and is also now threatening the Rappahannock County side of the park and continues to threaten structures.
§  Louisa County: (Chopping Road Fire), Estimated at 1300 acres; 2 structures destroyed and 7 structures minor damage. Fire is now contained, mop-up will continue tomorrow.
§  Albemarle County: (Ragged Mountain Fire); 100 acres
§  Shenandoah County Crooked Run Rd 80 acres
§  Goochland County: 264 acres
§  Gloucester County: 570 acres
§  Middlesex County: 524 acres
§  Brunswick County: 79 acres
§  New Kent County: 55 acres; closed I-64 for a short time.
§  Bedford County: 35 acres, 60% contained
§  Scott County: (Midol Fire) on Powell Mountain, 550 + acres; 90% contained
§  Fort Pickett Fire: estimated 2000 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 900+ acres; contained on post
§  National Forests report two other large fires (Pickle Branch and Chestnut Fires) both fires are now several hundred acres and have no resources assigned until 02/21/11.


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