Parrott Mountain wildfire blazes on as firefighters work to ease the spread

As of Tuesday evening at about 9 p.m., the fire was 70% contained


A wildfire on the Pulaski/Giles County line has been burning for several days, burning nearly 500 acres of land as of Tuesday evening. As of the latest update from the Virginia Department of Forestry, it is roughly 70% contained.

A gusty wind Wednesday will make fighting the blaze more difficult.

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Fire crews were taking advantage of little wind Tuesday and working to establish containment lines to ease the spread of the fire.

“Instead of putting water on the fire, we’re using fire to fight fire,” said Steve Spangler, a crew leader with Pulaski County Emergency Management.

He said they needed to establish containment lines before the wind picks up again.

“That’s one of our biggest factors is the wind,” said Spangler. “The wind is mother nature and that’s what you are trying to fight against.”

He said on Tuesday, their goal was to set containment lines.

“So right now, what you see behind me is one of our firing operations for structure protection,” said Spangler. “This is basically removing the fuels between the main fire which is back over this way, and the homes that are this way.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, they had contained about 25 percent of the fire.

Spangler is hopeful that the number will be much higher by the end of the day.

“Even though it is 25 [percent] today, we expect that to really increase by this evening, and hopefully by tomorrow,” Spangler said.

Jim Bowman has been living on Parrott Mountain for over 30 years. He said this isn’t his first wildfire.

“We’ve had a fire up on top of that other ridge over there,” Bowman said.

Bowman said this fire did get close to his property.

“It was just kind of creeping going this way and then when the wind would get to it you would see it flair up,” Bowman said.

He also said he could not ask for better firefighters to fight this fire.

“I can’t speak on how good the people were that came down here to work on the fire,” said Bowman. “Everybody is doing their job and we appreciate them very much.”

Officials from Pulaski County said if they can get the containment lines set, wind later in the week shouldn’t spread the fire.

About the Author

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

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