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Forest Service: Eighty-person ‘Gold Team’ arriving Friday to help combat wildfires

Crystal Graham
Millers Head Fire
Millers Head Fire/file photo/submitted

Multiple wildfires began in the George Washington and Jefferson National forests on Wednesday, and fire suppression efforts are currently under way.

More than 100 personnel have worked to contain the wildfires over 11,000 acres.

A major wind event blew through the forests Wednesday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Strong winds coupled with low humidity created optimal conditions for wildfires.

Multiple wildland fires started in the forests and in surrounding communities in the Lee North River Ranger Districts.

In addition to forest service firefighters, other agencies responding included Hardy County, W.Va., Shenandoah, Page and Rockingham counties.

An 80-person complex incident management team, known as the Gold Team, will arrive on Friday to take over the management of the wildfires.

Heavy smoke is likely in nearby communities and along roadways.

For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/gwj

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.