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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Snuff Your Ashes and Embers!

A lot of people in the Blue Ridge have woodstoves and fireplaces to supplement their electric, oil, or gas heating and for some folks burning wood is the only way they can afford to heat their homes. However, there are certain necessary precautions that must be taken; such as cleaning the flue so as not to start a chimney fire and burning down your home.

But, where a lot of people don’t think is, when it comes to cleaning out the hearth and dumping the ashes and embers. Years ago I used to burn a woodstove and when I cleaned out the ashes and embers I would take the bucket that contained them to my vegetable garden dig up the already loose soil and burry them; it was safe.

Where am I going with this? Well, as some of you know, there is a wildfire that has scorched up to 2,000 acres in Bedford County since Saturday and federal officials say that it probably will not be under control until Friday.

The fire is believe to have been started when a resident of the rugged, wooded area cleaned out is woodstove and dumped ashes outside on Saturday. The fire was slowed yesterday morning as rain and wet snow fell in Bedford but, not before had burned 2,000 acres of private land and wide swaths of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and forced the National Park Service to temporarily shut down the Blue Ridge Parkway in the area because of heavy smoke.

This from, The Richmond Times Dispatch:

"It looks like we're in pretty good shape," Sutton said. "Things are going pretty much the way we need them to go. The rain slowed it down. But we know there's going to be some big drying going on [today], and there could be wind."
The fire is burning near the Bedford County-Botetourt County line, about 15 miles east of Roanoke. A spokesman for the state forestry department in Charlottesville said the fire is the only significant one burning in Virginia.

Federal officials also said that there will be significant drying and low humidity, today and a good chance that winds will pick up hampering efforts to get the fire under control.

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  • At Wednesday, 08 March, 2006, Blogger Redhen said…

    I could see all the smoke up on a mountain to the south of our farm and knew it had to be a huge fire! What a shame.


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