Home Department of Forestry update on efforts to fight several Virginia wildfires

Department of Forestry update on efforts to fight several Virginia wildfires

Chris Graham
(© Fernando Astasio Avila – Shutterstock)

Since the start of the fall fire season on Oct. 15, the Virginia Department of Forestry has responded to 113 wildfires that have burned more than 12,000 acres.

“We thank all of our firefighters, partner agencies, localities and community members who have pulled together as we continue to fight these wildfires,” said Chief of Fire and Emergency Response John Miller. “We need no further proof that fall fire season has arrived with a vengeance. We will remain vigilant to protect people and property.”

Quaker Run Fire, Madison County

The fire has cooled significantly and is now 90 percent contained. With minimal fire activity, many firefighters will leave the Quaker Run Fire today and travel to other fires that need resources.

Remaining crews will patrol the fire’s perimeter, monitor for reburn and repair trails. The voluntary evacuation order for Finks Hollow Lane has been lifted.

Fire bans remain in effect for Madison County and Shenandoah National Park. The Rapidan Tract of the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area is temporarily closed.

Matts Creek Fire, Bedford County

The Matts Creek Fire is located in Bedford County within the James River Face Wilderness in the Jefferson National Forest. The entire fire is on National Forest lands and is approximately 2,800 acres.

Coordinating agencies include the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service-Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford County Fire and Rescue, Amherst County Public Safety, Rockbridge County Fire-Rescue and Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

There are approximately 120 firefighters and support staff, seven fire crews, four Type-6 engines, and three Type-1 helicopters responding to this fire. The fire was first reported on Nov. 12, and the cause remains under investigation.

Smoke will likely occur in nearby communities. For the latest air quality information, visit AirNow.gov.

For latest restrictions and closures, visit the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests website www.fs.usda.gov/gwj or follow updates on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GWJNF.

Western Virginia

The Tuggles Gap fire in Patrick County is now fully contained and being monitored. A new fire began last night in Hoover Camp in Buchanan County that is currently 700 acres with 50 percent containment.

Other fires of note include:

Rocklick Fire, Buchanan County (Virginia and Kentucky)

  •  2,232 acres in Virginia, 90 percent contained

Rachel’s Chapel Fire, Dickenson County

  • 1,135 acres in Virginia, 90 percent contained

Horse Hollow Fire, Lee County

  • 15 acres, 75 percent contained

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].