Carroll County prepares as wildfires sweep across the state

CARROLL COUNTY, Va. – As conditions continue to stay dry, the risk of wildfire continues to rise across the region.

“It really is the locality’s plead to say, ‘Now is not the time to burn,’” said Gary Bergeron, emergency chief for Carroll County.

With the heightened risk, many local fire departments are staying prepared in case a wildfire sparks in their area.

Bergeron said current dry conditions are a daily concern.

“We’re actually in a monitoring posture,” said Bergeron. “We’ve had 17 events since Nov. 3 — when this kind of hit the radar locally.”

He said they are currently keeping a close eye on the Forestry Department’s decisions.

“We continue to speak with the forestry, kind of mimicking their posture,” Bergeron said.

Geography plays a part in fire coverage and due to the size of Carroll County, Bergeron said he relies heavily on volunteer departments every day.

“We’re strategically placed throughout the county, so I consider those chiefs as having eyes in those localities,” Bergeron said.

He also said if a fire gets out of control, there is equipment set in place to call local counties for help.

“We put into place a couple weeks ago now an automatic mutual aid dispatch for a brush fire,” Bergeron said.

Officials said if we do not get a good, soaking, rain soon, we will continue to be at the heightened risk of wildfires.

Burn bans remain in effect. To see if you’re county is under a burn ban, click here.

About the Author:

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