Arson in the George Washington National Forest
Image by D L Ennis: Fire can be seen, in this image, staying close to the ground at the top of this ridge. Click any image to see a larger version.
As of this morning a fire, set by arsonist, is still burning in the Peavine Gap area of the George Washington National Forest in Amherst County, Virginia. “…it's the product of arson, according to investigators in Amherst County. Hundreds of acres have already burned, and several fires continue as crews search for the best plan of attack.”
Image by D L Ennis: Ash falls like snow on a back road in the G. W. National Forest near the fire.
Several fires were reported Saturday night near Peavine Gap. According to WSET, in Lynchburg, Virginia: “Investigators say all the information they've gathered points to arson. For now, each is fire burning low to the ground and doesn't pose any real threat to private property.” As the crow flies the fire is less than a mile from my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Image by D L Ennis: Smoke fills the sky from the burning ridges around Peavine Gap.
Capt. Woody Lipps, U.S. Forest Service - "Eventually, for one reason or anther, there's going to be fire in the forest, always has been. If the fuel is removed a little at a time, you'll almost always have fires similar to this. If you have a great build-up of fuel, then you can have an extremely dangerous fire."
That's not to say things are already fully controlled. Captain Lipps points out weather could make these fires much worst in the coming days.
Image by D L Ennis: The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed near Otter Creek.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, is closed because of the fire, 1000 ft. north of the Otter Creek Campground on the Parkway.
Amherst Co., VA - That forest fire in Amherst County has doubled in size. Tuesday, firefighters took to the air to try to get an upper-hand on the battle. Investigators believe it started on Sunday night and that someone lit it on purpose. Now, they're working hard to get it under control.