Amherst forest fire burns more than 4,600 acres


AMHERST COUNTY (WSLS 10) – A wildfire in Amherst County expanded to more than 4,600 acres Tuesday night.

The U.S. Forestry Department met with people living in the Lowesville area to explain the plan to try and stop it.

“It’s coming down the mountain right in front of us,” said Harry Gilpin, Who was one of hundreds Tuesday night packed into Central Baptist Church, worried about a line of fire he can see approaching through his window.

“I’ve spent the last three years building this house, and to have a chance for it to just go up in flames, I mean it’s kind of concerning,” said Gilpin.

“The fire this afternoon is about 4,600 acres and we still don’t have any estimate on containment,” said Steve Counts, with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Counts says he understands people’s concerns, but because of dry conditions, it’s tough to bring them good news.

“There’s no water in the streams, and it’s a place that we would normally use to cut a fire off and we don’t have that,” said Counts.

To make things worse, Gilpin says his wife recently just broke her leg.

“She’s sitting in the house now in a wheelchair, and so I’ve got to decide when am I going to get her out and am I going to stay there and fight this fire if it comes down, all the way down the mountain?” said Gilpin.

Counts says firefighters are working around the clock, but if the fire doesn’t stop, evacuations could be necessary.

“You always have a chance of us losing the containment line just based on high winds,” said Counts.

Gilpin shared the feeling of many Tuesday in hoping it doesn’t come to that.

“I’m hoping to see them get some more resources in here and get this fire out,” said Gilpin.

Fire crews say they do have enough equipment, but just because of dry conditions, it could be weeks before the fire finally gets put out.

WSLS 10 may allow you to upload, post, transmit or otherwise provide content to WSLS 10, including, but not limited to, photos, video, audio, comments, articles, blogs, forums and any other such communication in which you provide content to the Web site ("User Content"). You agree that you are solely responsible for your communications and any content you provide. Read full terms and conditions of use by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s