Weekend rain helps extinguish fires in Pendleton County
In addition to hard working firefighters who fought the blaze for days
FRANKLIN, Wv. (WHSV) - All three main wildfires that have been impacting Pendleton County Since Tuesday, April 18th are controlled and mostly extinguished. The Smoke Hole and Hidden Valley fires started from falling trees onto a power line, which ignited the fire according to Pendleton OEM Coordinator, Rick Gillespie.
SMOKE HOLE FIRE:
This fire near Upper Tract burned 83 acres and has been under control.
HIDDEN VALLEY FIRE (Near Franklin):
This was the largest fire and burned approximately 1,700-1,800 acres. Twenty seven different fire departments from three states responded to fighting this fire. Officials say, “Approximately 269 fire personnel were involved. Also, a multitude of citizen volunteers and local heavy equipment owners.”
As of Monday, April 24th fire crews will continue to monitor hot spots. In fact around 5:30 p.m. Monday a “flare-up” occurred and firefighters responded to put that out.
If you witness fire you are asked to call 9-1-1.
The community support was overwhelming. Rick Gillespie, Pendleton OEM Coordinator commented, “the actions of everyone involved and the supporting public warms the heart. The support is off the charts!”
SENECA ROCKS FIRE:
This fire broke out Friday evening at the top and just behind the rocks. This was just hours before the rain moved into the area. Numerous fire departments responded however because of the gusty winds and dangerous rocky terrain, crews had to pull back.
By early Saturday morning, “A crew of 22 Hotshots assigned to the Monongahela National Forest, ordinarily based in Colorado engaged the remaining fire.” It wasn’t long after when the much needed rain started to fall and crews had this fire under control.
With this fire, 12 acres have burned which was all behind the rocks. West Virginia Department of Forestry is in charge of the investigation. There are no nearby utility lines that would have caused this fire and the cause is unknown at this time.
Gillespie said, “The community has been amazing in supporting the fire crews with food, drinks, desserts and words of encouragement. This is appreciated beyond words and keep our folks moving forward on very little rest.”
See how the community has responded to supporting all fire crews while battling the wildfires:
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