Small Wildfire Sparked in Augusta County

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

Augusta County firefighters are keeping a close eye on a portion of the George Washington National Forest in Buffalo Gap after a small fire developed up the mountain on Friday.

The Virginia Forestry Department said the fire was probably caused by a lightning strike on Thursday and they think it built up underground before spreading to dry tree roots nearby.

Five departments responded to the fire because air support is tied up with the wildfire in Page County. Steep inclines and high temperatures make it tough for firefighters to extinguish it.

“We're trying to keep them rotated that way we don't have any heat exhaustion,” said Incident Commander Craig Williams. “Normally, a fire like this, we can handle with just a couple companies and maybe one T.V., but on a day like today, I'm working with the Forestry Department. The Forestry Department requested the extra manpower.”

A spokesperson for the Forestry Department said underground fires like this one are typically how wildfires begin.

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