Our hearts and prayers go out to all those being impacted by wildfires out west while also doing all we can right here "at home in Virginia".
Two wildfires in western Virginia on Thursday worried some residents when the scent of smoke drifted as far as the District.
According to officials, the wildfires are both burning on federal land, one in the Shenandoah National Park and the other in George Washington & Jefferson National Forests. Trails in both parks were closed because of the fire.
By 6 p.m. Thursday, the Point 2 Wildfire in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests was about 353 acres, and only 5 percent contained, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture Forest Service. It is located on Massanutten Mountain between Sherman Gap and Veach Gap, spanning both Shenandoah and Warren Counties. It was first detected on Monday.
Trails were also closed in the Shenandoah National Park for the Neighbor Mountain Fire.Agreat story and video can be found at
Cautioned urged for July 4th fireworks
The lack of rainfall especially in South-central Virginia is raising concerns that the use of fireworks during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday could spark fires in tinder-dry fields and woods.
Virginia Department of Forestry officials indicate that it's not just cities and towns' pyrotechnic shows that pose a threat. He says small fireworks, cookouts and bonfires that are popular during the holiday could start fires in the dry conditions that would spread rapidly.
While the dry conditions concern fire officials there are no immediate plans to ban fireworks.
The agency is encouraging people planning holiday celebrations to use fireworks safely. Spokesman Gregg O’Donnell says the wildfire potential exists in areas where consecutive days of hot temperatures have dried out vegetation.
“It has been awhile since our last beneficial rainfall in many areas, and it is slowly drying out,” said John Miller, Virginia Department of Forestry’s Director of Resource Protection. “We want everyone to be safe and legal while using fireworks, or better yet leave the fireworks to professionals.”
The Department of Forestry recommends following these safety tips:
- Buy from reliable fireworks sellers only use those that are legal for use in Virginia and your locality.
- To detonate fireworks, find a flat surface, away from buildings, dry leaves and grass.
- Have water, a rake and shovel on hand in case of a fire.
- Insist on adult supervision when buying or setting off fireworks.
- Read and follow label directions, warnings and instructions.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never try to re-Iight fireworks that have not detonated.
- Never give fireworks to small children; even sparklers can cause serious burns.
- Keep all pets especially dogs away from any fireworks.
Fred X. Turck Assistant Director Resource Protection Division Firewise, Prescribed Fire, Prevention and Education
For more info and some prevention material (coloring sheets and mini posters) visit