People working to protect their properties from Amherst fire

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AMHERST COUNTY (WSLS 10) – Fire crews are still investigating the cause a wildfire in Amherst County that’s burned more than 6,400 acres.

With only about 10 percent of the fire contained, firefighters from across the country are coming to the area to help.

An additional 122 firefighters are digging lines to contain the fire, while others are making sure equipment is working correctly.

The Department of Forestry says protecting homes along Indian Creek Road is the main priority.

They’ve set up a fire line, but people living there are still concerned watching the line of fire on top of Mount Pleasant.

One of those is James Creamer, who says he began working with crews as soon as they arrived at his property.

“I met with them on Monday and showed them, we had an old existing road that went across the mountain and I showed them how to get through there, and all the way back through into Scott’s Branch,” said Creamer.

Creamer says since then, he’s been thankful to see firefighters do everything they can to keep the flames from reaching his family’s homes.

“They come through and cut some fire lines through some of our old existing roads and stuff like that and that really helped,” said Creamer.

The Forestry Department says, on the larger scale, that work is slowly starting to pay off.

“We feel confident at this point that 10 percent of that line will hold and will not be threatened by any type of fire jumping,” said Kurt Thompson, with the U.S. Forestry Service.

Even so, people like Creamer are making sure to take every precaution.

“We did take a bulldozer and cut a fire line around his place just to be on the safe side in case it did jump,” said Creamer.

The Forestry Department says it’s making progress by actually lighting any existing leaves and brush on fire in advance.

“We will intentionally burn that fuel out so that we can consume the fuel and actually widen the fire line in a sense, and actually starve the fire of fuel,” said Thompson.

Creamer says now, all the community can hope for is a little help from the environment.

“We’re hoping for Mother Nature to give us a little, keep the winds down and give us a little rain maybe tomorrow or the next day. We’re hoping and praying for that,” said Creamer.

Crews say relief could be only about a week away.

They’re hoping to see about a half an inch of rainfall in the middle of next week, and that could dampen the ground and make it easier to put out the flames.

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