Amherst County, Virginia
Our special thanks to Debbie Wilson of Lukay Photography in Piney River, Virginia  for sharing her amazing images of the fire and the battel to control it.
The battle against a wildfire that’s now consumed over 6400 acres continues on this Thanksgiving Day in Amherst County, Virginia. In their Thursday morning update the USDA Forest Service says 226 personnel are on the scene working the fire.
Below is the USFS morning update verbatim:
Thursday, November 24, 2016, 9:30
Don Pyrah, Fire Information Officer
Location: Mount Pleasant Scenic Area, Thrasher’s Creek Community
Start Date: Saturday November 19th, 2016 approx. 06:15 PM
Type of Incident: Wildfire
Size: 6,485 Acres
Protection: Amherst County
Ownership: USDA Forest Service, George Washington & Jefferson, National Forests
Glenwood and Pedlar Ranger Districts
Hand Crews: 2 Type 2, 7 Type 2IA and IA Modules
Overhead Personnel: 48
Total Personnel: 226
Yesterday firefighters, engines, dozers and aircraft worked to strengthen existing control lines utilizing firing operations in south and east portions of the fire. Firing operations were conducted on the southwest corner of the fire to secure protection of homes along the North Fork Road (SR 635). Firefighters successfully caught slop over on the north side of the fire during the mid-day. An early morning inversion delayed aircraft usage until late morning.
Today resources on the south side of the fire will continue structure protection in the Thrasher Creek drainage, keeping fire north of the dozer lines and continuing mop-up operations. Resources on the east side of the fire will continue to secure control lines towards the Indian Creek drainage. They will also provide structure protection in Scotts Branch drainage and Indian Creek. Resources on the north side and northwest sides of the fire will begin constructing control line and will scout for opportunities to control the fire off Forest Service Road 520 and County Road 750 from the west to Hog Camp Gap. On the west side of the fire resources will secure line from the west toward County Road 635 providing structure protection along that route. Night operations will continue with resources assigned to patrolling the fire edge around structures and extinguishing hot spots. There is an Initial Attack group available for new starts in the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest.
Firing operations are conducted to remove unburned vegetation within the fires perimeter that could later ignite and spread. Conducting this type of operations when conditions are appropriate and safe lowers the fires potential to burn with great intensity. Through the crews hard work the fire moved to 10% containment Tuesday evening.
The fire was first reported Saturday November 19, 2016. Amherst County, Virginia Department of Forestry, and US Forest Service firefighters were the first to respond and did great work while waiting for other resources to arrive. The Department of Natural Resources Conservation County Assist Team, Incident Commander David Hamilton assumed management of the fire Monday evening. The team is working with local, state and federal partners to implement a full suppression strategy to put the fire out as safely and quickly as possible. Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority.
History on the fire by clicking here.