Edinburg Fire

By: Rachel DePompa
By: Rachel DePompa

The fire is only 100 acres. But the 100-degree weather and rough terrain have been giving firefighters problems.

The fire is in a real bad location and believe it or not, rain is the worst thing that could happen right now. Not much smoke, and the fire is laying low, but it's still burning, and firefighters are planning their assault.

"We're gonna burn the tip of the ridge off tomorrow and secure the top," says one firefighter. Monday crews are still building fire lines and even that's taking longer than expected.

"It's awfully hard to put a line through boulder and over rock cliffs and through large rocks," says Don Sawyer from the US Forest Service.

"There's hardly any good access to it. It's so steep and rocky and bushy. You can't really get right into the fire itself, so that's why we backed off," says Tom Lail with the U.S. Forest Service.

And the weather has been unbearable. On Friday one firefighter suffered heat stress and had to go home.

"This heat index of 105 is really hard on crews. We drink plenty of water so we can stay in shape to walk these mountains," says Firefighter Greg Hall.

But, at this point even rain would be bad news. Especially a thunderstorm. "We'd just as soon not get any rain until after we get the burnout done, and then let her come because that's what we need to put this thing out," says Sawyer.

Weather permitting; the burnout will begin tomorrow morning. It should take two days to complete. If all goes well the fire will be fully contained, but the mop will still take several weeks.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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