Rockbridge Co. Wildfires Continue to Burn - - ABC13

Rockbridge Co. Wildfires Continue to Burn


Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks | VIdeographer: Daniel Heffner

Rockbridge Co., VA - Wildfires continue burning more than 14,000 acres now across the Commonwealth.

Volunteer fire departments, officials from the Virginia Department of Forestry and other federal organizations are out battling the blazes. 

At last check the wolf gap fire has burned 600 acres. Shipwreck near Harrisonburg has burned more than 4,700 acres, in Alleghany it's more than 6,000 acres, in Barbors Creek it's 1,700 acres, and in Rich Hole in Rockbridge County it's 1,100 acres.

Fred Rickett had a front row seat his backyard faces it all

"I was awake all last night keeping an eye on things and trying to move anything flammable that was around the house," he said.

Luckily the fire didn't cross his path.

The Rockbridge County emergency management coordinator says the initial call of a brush fire came in Monday around 7 p.m. for the Alleghany-Rockbridge county line.

Officials say Tuesday around 5 p.m. things got out of control.

"The fire really got out of hand. The fire just exploded and crossed the interstate, jumped the interstate and started up northbound," said Robert Foresman, the Rockbridge Co. emergency management coordinator.

And it doesn't sound like the fire is going to let up anytime soon

"Where it is, it's very steep terrain. We could probably be looking at least several weeks," said Foresman.

Crews say the wind has been the biggest problem, but to date they say no one has been evacuated from their homes and it's not looking likely.

All the roads have been open, including I-64. Foresman says they opened up around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Some roads like Waterloo Drive are being opened solely to residents in those areas.

"We are very concerned about the public safety, and we do not want to mix up fire traffic with interstate traffic," said Marq Webb, PIO for Southern Air Blue Team.

Officials say it's going to be a long couple of weeks, but with the help of several units, including the U.S. Forestry department blue team, they're going to be ok.

The good news is Marq says no homes have been lost and there haven't been any injuries. 

Officials say they have received a ton of donations and don't need any more. They also warn to be extra careful because conditions are really dry out there.

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