Wildfire smoke impacts Bedford county residents

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Some Bedford County area residents say they’re frightened and feeling the health effects from wildfire smoke.

The Matts Creek wildfire is 1,400 acres and 0% contained as of Wednesday morning.

Big Island resident Heather Camire said ash from the wildfire has covered her car. She’s one of many neighbors learning how to cope with the smoke.

“We’ve seen a lot of the smoke, a lot of ashes,” Camire said. “I haven’t let my dog outside, I mean it’s hard to breathe, so it’s been very difficult.”

Concerns like these prompted school leaders to close Big Island Elementary for the day on Wednesday.

Bedford County resident Hope Metzger believes that was the right decision. She lives not far from the wildfire herself.

“It was frightening and the smoke was thick,” Metzger said. “It was very alarming.”

Metzger decided to jump into action. She’s collecting community donations for fire crews at her business, Magnolia Mountain Realty.

She invites the community to donate food, water, money or whatever they think fire crews will need.

“I hope they know whatever it is they need we’ll get it for them because we’re here to help them just like they are to help us,” Metzger said.

Metzger said people are welcome to drop off donations at the table outside of the Magnolia Mountain Realty. She plans to transport items to the fire department from there.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.