Wintergreen / Devils Knob
Nelson County, Virginia
By Tommy Stafford
For the second time in less than a week fire crews were back on the scene of a the same condo units that were originally on fire Monday night. We first broke the story here, and then a follow up story in this post.
Here’s a verbatim press release update from WFD Chief Curtis Sheets at 7:30 PM Wednesday night : 11.29.17:
“North Ridge Fire Update 11-29
Yet again this morning Wintergreen FD was dispatched for a fully involved condo building at North Ridge building 3. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Wintergreen Police and Virginia State Police. On Monday evening agencies from Nelson and Augusta Counties responded at 5AM to provide hours of valuable assistance. During the day on Tuesday Wintergreen FD continuously monitored the structure, used thermal imaging cameras to check for hot spots, used additional water and foam, etc. to be certain there would be no rekindle. In total we believe well over 100,000 gallons of water were used.
In the pre-dawn hours today, the area near North Ridge experienced a wind event which provided sustained winds of over 10-15 mph and gusts reported above 30 mph. No matter the cause of the fire, the wind worked against us. The size of the structure as well as it’s close proximity to similar size structures created exposure risks which caused us to evacuate one building and consider the evacuation of a larger area. Fortunately, just beyond the closest row of at-risk structures lies a narrow strip of forest bordered by the ski slopes which created a buffer between this fire and other developed streets. Our crews were on-scene for over 12 hours.
Not for two decades has Wintergreen committed every single piece of fire apparatus they own to suppression/protection at one scene. That did in-fact happen last night. Additionally, the response by mutual-aid partners was larger than we have seen, perhaps ever.
Our reports haven’t been finalized which could lead to an inadvertent omission. Regardless, we’d like to get a preliminary THANK YOU out to all who assisted.
Rockfish FD – Engine
Lovingston FD – Engine
Piney River FD – Tanker – Brush
Faber FD – Brush Truck
Wilson FD – Engine & Tanker
Stuarts Draft FD – Tanker & Brush Truck
Dooms FD – Engine
Augusta County F/R – Ladder Truck
Virginia Department of Forestry – 2 Brush Trucks
Wintergreen Police – 2 Units 1 Investigator
Virginia State Police – 2 Investigators
On-Scene from Wintergreen F/R
Engines 1 & 2
Medic 178 – Medic 151
Also lending tremendous assistance was Wintergreen Property Owners Association Road Maintenance division who provided manpower and removed burning trees. (Backhoe, Chipper, Loader) The Nelson County Service Authority also sent technicians to be sure our water supply was uninterrupted.
Total Engines – 6 Ladders -3 Brush – 6 Tankers – 4
The past few nights were significant fire events for Wintergreen. As always, we will conduct a full after-action review process to discover any items on which we need to improve. We’re thankful that no injuries were reported. We’re saddened that two persons lost their full-time home, and several others lost their special place at one of the most beautiful communities on earth.”
Around 4AM Wednesday morning fire broke out again and this time the units are a total loss.
Around 8:30 AM Wednesday crews had that blaze under control and were finishing up getting some of the adjoiing woods that caught on fire complely extinguished.
More updates as we have them.