Smyth County

Forest fire still burning in Smyth County

Forest fire still burning in Smyth County

SMYTH COUNTY, Va. - For some people in Smyth County, Virginia, the wet weather is a sign of relief after a forest fire continues to grow.

The smoke continues to rise over the mountain in Saltville, Virginia. For some homeowners, all they can do is keep an eye on the flames to make sure their homes aren't in danger. "I went over there and saw the smoke, I didn't think I was in too much danger there. Last night the fire got on that ridge behind my house and it's been moving pretty slow," says Seth Anderson.

Anderson tells us right now the fire is about 250 yards away from his home, and getting closer. "If we can keep it away from my building and my house, we don't really think it's going to catch in yard. In my backyard there really isn't anything to catch," he said.

Several fire departments and the Virginia Department of Forestry have been battling the fire since Saturday. "It started about mid-slope up the mountain, which caused some difficulties. There are some cabins and residencies on top of the mountain that we had to protect," adds Brian Ledford.

Ledford is with the Virginia Department of Forestry. He tells us the fire started when a tree fell on a power line. "Low humidity dries it out on top very quickly, and with no leaves out on the trees yet, the forest floor dries out fast," he explained.

Ledford says the fire on top of the mountain has already burned out; now it's creeping downhill. "We have crews checking back and forth from house to house. We had someone out all night Sunday just keeping watch," he said.

Ledford tells us as of now no homes are in immediate danger, but they are keeping a close eye on it.

Ledford and home owners like Seth Anderson are hoping the rain will help put out their fears. "We get that rain they say that it really ought to just kill the fire all together," says Anderson.

Ledford wants to remind everyone there is a 4 p.m. burn law in Virginia, which only allows people to burn brush after 4 p.m., when it's the safest.

He also says to not burn if there are strong winds.

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