Shenandoah Park Fire Worries Homeowners Nearby

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

April 7, 2006

Heavy winds and dry weather continue to fuel the fire burning in the Shenandoah National Park and neighbors close by are getting worried.

Folks near the park have been a little on edge since the fire started on Tuesday. Many of them can see the smoke from their backyards. That's why firefighter Lee Wheelberger got out his personal tractor. He's helping people clear the dry brush from their yards which keeps fueling the fire. They're hoping the cleared area will act as a buffer and keep the fire away. John Gibson says the fire is about a mile from his house and it's making him nervous.

"It's just a real hot intense fire, every time a pine tree goes up, just imagine a five gallon can of kerosene, it just [goes] 'poof,'" said John Gibson.

Forest officials say they have about 80 firefighters working on the fire. They're estimating the fire is about 50 percent contained. There is no estimate as to when the fire might be completely put out, but officials say they are doing everything they can to make sure the fire doesn't get close to the nearby homes.

Fire officials are still investigating the fire's cause, but they think it might have started with a lightning strike.

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