GLASGOW, Va. – UPDATE
The Matts Creek wildfire has reached 11,016 acres and is still 33% contained, as of Nov. 21.
The wildfire now spans across 10,813 acres and is 33% contained.
On Monday, officials announced the Matts Creek wildfire has grown to over 10,000 acres, but crews are making steady progress with it now being 27% contained.
There are currently over 300 people working to help contain the fire.
U.S. Forest Service Operations Chief, Dave Walker said they are now fighting fire with fire.
“We had an opportunity to come in there and do what we do best, utilize fire to fight fire. Under very controlled conditions, keeping the fire behavior very low, fire intensity low, flame lengths very short and it’s very manageable,” he said. “We’ve been able to bring the fire close the perimeter, making it much easier to contain the fire and simplifying the whole process and reducing the risk of the firefighters and the overall risk to the community.”
On the horizon is much-needed rain, which crews are optimistic about.
“The rain provided that we receive what they are predicting will definitely bring fire behavior down to a standstill,” said Walker.
The rain could also bring new concerns as crews have to ensure their control lines will not be washed away.
“[We are] working on plans in terms of what repair work, water bars, to prevent erosion on hand lines and dozers lines. Where that’s going to work, what kind of resources we are going to need, how we are going to shuffle those folks around,” said Walker.
Officials are hoping for at least two inches of steady rainfall on Tuesday.
While they said the rain could make a big dent in containing the fire, this doesn’t mean their job will be done.
Find updates on the wildfire here.