Area Firefighters Continue to Battle Nelson Co. Blaze

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

April 7, 2005

On Wednesday, April 6, John Evans was helping build a house when his help was needed elsewhere.

"They hollered for us and we started hauling five gallon buckets up the mountain. It was terrible. It was like a volcano. It looked like lava was coming down the side of the hill," said Evans.

Firefighters from the surrounding area, including Roseland Rescue, Piney River Fire Department, and Wintergreen Fire Department, helped battle the flames by using hand crews and bulldozers. But as night crept in and the fire spread, firefighters realized they were helpless until the morning.

"It got dark and with the terrain the way it is, and the rockiness, it was just too dangerous to have fire fighters up there last night," said Martha Warring, the incident commander.

They went back to work the morning of April 7, this time with two helicopters dumping over three hundred gallons of water each trip on the side of the mountain.

More than 50 acres of the mountain burned.

The fire started April 6 when a man was burning leaves in his yard. Some of the leaves were carried away by the wind. Because of the dry and hot weather and high winds, the leaves caught some trees on fire and it spread rapidly.

The weather has since cooled off, making the firefighters' task easier to manage.

"Today we pretty much have a handle on it. We will pretty much have it out by this evening," predicted Warring.

The helicopters made rounds all day, making sure the flames did not spark up again.

The man will have to pay for the expenses incurred trying to suppress the fire.

Firefighters urge people to obey the burning law and burn items only between 4 p.m. and midnight.

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