CRAIG COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Forestry says about 70 acres of Craig County have burned in a wildfire caused by a fallen tree hitting a powerline. They say they have about 65% of it contained, but that the weather conditions are making it difficult to control.
One Craig County man, Patrick Greenway, says he’s been watching his property burn up for over 24 hours.
“Kinda nervewracking after it crossed the top of the mountain and come this way, just been watching it, but really haven’t slept a whole lot,” said Greenway.
He says about two-thirds of his property has gone up in flames.
James Cady with the Craig County Department of Emergency Management says all five volunteer fire departments in the county were on the scene after the fire broke out.
“It’s all woods with heavy leaves fall right now, so the fire can run very fast,” said Cady.
Cody Swift with The Department of Forestry (DOF) says with dry and windy weather conditions the risk of wildfire increases.
“The vast majority of wildfires in Virginia are caused by humans, which means the vast majority of our wildfires are preventable,” said Swift.
He says the number one cause of wildfires in the Commonwealth is people burning yard debris such as leaves and sticks, but warns when it’s this windy it’s best to not burn anything at all.
“It’s best to just hold off until that wind calms,” said Swift.
Other things he says you can do to protect your home include keeping sticks, leaves, firewood, or anything that easily burns away from your home, never leaving a fire unattended, and making sure it is entirely put out when you’re done.
DOF says how long it will take to put out these flames depends on the weather; they say right now their main goal is just to get it as controlled as possible.
They add that if you have any questions about fire safety or preventing wildfires you can always reach out to your local fire departments for help.