Wildfire battle continues in the New River Valley

In an update Monday evening, officials said the fire is 25% contained

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Crews are working tirelessly to put out a wildfire in the New River Valley that has burned over 75 acres of land so far.

The wildfire broke out over the weekend near Parrott River Road.

“This fire has the potential to grow larger than what we normally see in this area,” said Brad Wright, the emergency coordinator for Pulaski County.

Crews received a call on Sunday of reports of a wildfire in Pulaski County. Since then, crews from Pulaski, Giles, and the Virginia Department of Forestry have been working to slow the spread of the fire.

Wright said wildfires aren’t uncommon in the fall.

“Mostly what’s carrying this fire is the leaves from this time of the year coming down — the fresh leaf litter,” Wright said.

Luckily for this area, many of the firefighters have experience fighting wildfires similar to this one.

“In Pulaski County, we have some really experienced wildland firefighters that have traveled outside of Pulaski County even,” said Erika Tolbert, a public official with Pulaski County.

She said her husband has been fighting wildfires for years.

“My husband was a smoke jumper for three years out west before he came back,” Tolbert said.

She said even after 20 years, it can still be worrisome when he gets a call.

“It’s still a little unnerving just to know because you never know, a weather pattern can change, something can happen and that’s beyond their control,” Tolbert said.

Wright said as of right now no homes have been evacuated and they are expecting over 300 acres of land to be affected. Monday evening, Pulaski County Emergency Management confirmed the fire is estimated to impact more than 300 acres.

In an update Monday evening, officials said the fire is 25% contained.

Officials from Pulaski County said the cause of this fire is still under investigation.


About the Authors:

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.