Fires wreak havoc

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Two fires in Buckingham County Sunday resulted in burned fields and a home.

Dillwyn Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jason Wharam said the Red Cross is serving the family members who lost their home at the 1100 block of Glen Road Sunday afternoon, in the Willis Mountain area. The fire originated at the house and spread into a nearby field.

The cause of the fire is not known, Wharam said.

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Wharam said Dillwyn Volunteer Fire Department, Toga Volunteer Fire Department and Randolph Volunteer Fire Department in Cumberland assisted in dousing the fire.

Wharam said crews were on scene for four hours.

A second call for a brush fire occurred Sunday off Route 56.

Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) Forestry Specialist Gwynn Tyler said no structures were threatened as a result of the brush fire, and burned half an acre of field and half an acre of woodland.

Toga Volunteer Fire Department, Glenmore Volunteer Fire Department, Arvonia Volunteer Fire Department, Randolph Volunteer Fire Department in Cumberland and VDOF responded.

Tyler encouraged people to be aware of burning laws that will be in effect until April 30. Tyler said the cause of the brush fire at Route 56 is believed to be due to burning of debris.

The state law prevents outdoor burnings before 4 p.m. if the fire is within 300 feet of, woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material, according to documentation from VDOF.

“Since forest fuels cure during the winter months, the danger of fire is higher in early spring than in summer when the forest and grasses are green with new growth,” documentation from VDOF cited. “The 4 p.m. Burning Law is an effective tool in the prevention of forest fires.”

While Tyler said there have not been as many reports of brush fires due to recent heavy rainfall and ground saturation, numerous factors remain in play that can create brush fires. The higher winds, dried grasses and leaves and lower humidity of spring are among some of these factors.

“Dry grass on a broom straw field, and dry leaves on top of the grass can burn because the wind has dried things out on top,” Tyler said.