Home Spring results in 20K scorched acres in Virginia; busiest wildfire season in 30 years

Spring results in 20K scorched acres in Virginia; busiest wildfire season in 30 years

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Dry weather conditions and winds led to the busiest spring fire season in three decades, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.

DOF firefighters, in coordination with local, state and federal partners, responded to 411 wildfires that burned nearly 20,000 acres from Feb. 15 to April 30.

For comparison, during the 2023 spring fire season, 330 wildfires burned 2,174 acres.

Spring fires damaged 29 homes and 28 structures with DOF suppression efforts credited with protecting an additional 750 homes and 400 structures worth approximately $163 million.

Wildfire activity peaked on March 20, when especially low relative humidity combined with gusty winds to spark 88 wildfires in less than 24 hours.

The largest fires were reported in Page and Rockingham counties.

Largest spring wildfires

  • 211 West Fire, Page County: 6,390 acres
  • Brushy Run Fire, Rockingham County: 2,530 acres
  • Rocky Branch Fire, Page County: 1,030 acres
  • Serenity Ridge Fire, Page County: 875 acres
  • Moore Hollow Fire, Lee County: 525 acres

“Weather conditions this spring fire season were severe with extended dry spells and persistent winds,” said John Miller, DOF chief of fire and emergency response.

“Unfortunately, homes were lost this season, however many more were protected from being damaged or destroyed due to the training, quick response and collaboration between DOF, local and partner firefighters.”

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.