State and local governments coordinated efforts yesterday to fight more than 100 wildfires that burned across Virginia. Firefighters in at least 50 localities spent Saturday battling brush fires fanned by high winds and fueled by extremely dry conditions. The coordinated efforts required many neighboring communities to work together on multiple fires, often on very difficult terrain.
In Clarke County, fire crews worked several fires throughout the day. An early morning fire in Waterloo proved to be the opening salvo in a long day of brush fires. Clarke County crews were also called in to help fight fires in Warren and Loudoun County.
The plume of smoke from the Warren County fire could be seen along the entire length of the mountains in Clarke County Saturday afternoon. The fire burned hundreds of acres and required many residents to evacuate their homes.
In Loudoun a brush fire burned on the eastern slope of Mount Weather but had to be accessed from Blue Ridge Mountain Road in Clarke County. Fire crews from Loudoun Clarke, Fauquier and Jefferson Counties converged on the fire and battled flare ups throughout the afternoon. The Virginia Forestry Service eventually brought in a bulldozer to clear fire lines to contain the fire.
The Virginia Department of Forestry also spent significant efforts fighting another serious fire in Rockingham County.
Fires in some areas were so intense they forced the temporary closure of several major roads, including Interstate 64 in New Kent County and the I-95 ramps in Prince William County.
As of Sunday morning, most fires are reportedly under control in the Commonwealth but crews remain alert across the state in case there are flare ups from the massive areas that were burned.