Volunteers battle windswept wildfires

John McCaslin | Rappahannock News
Volunteer firefighters from Castleton move in against the flames on Eldon Farms Friday.

As if they didn’t have enough to deal with during the height of the wind storm on Friday, Rappahannock County volunteer fire & rescue crews raced from one windswept wildfire to the other. The largest of the wildfires burned an estimated 100 or so acres on Eldon Farms, scorching several hillsides and hollows alongside Yancy Road.

John McCaslin | Rappahannock News
Flames whipped by strong winds spread south along Yancy Road in Woodville early Friday afternoon, leaving a backdrop of scorched hillsides belonging to Eldon Farms.

Woodville resident Sharon Pierce, who first alerted authorities to the rapidly spreading fire, stood by as fire fighting units from across the county, as well as the Virginia Department of Forestry, battled the flames. Pierce said she was concerned at one point for her farm animals, which were across Yancy road, however the strong winds — which at times gusted higher that 70 miles per hour across the region — pushed the flames to the south.

Other wildfires burned fields along Scrabble Road, across from historic Scrabble School, and at Round Hill near Boston.

One Castleton firefighter, who rushed from the Scrabble blaze to Eldon Farms, equated the quickly moving flames to what California firefighters face with the strong Santa Ana winds.

No exact cause for the fires is known but downed power lines or sparks generated from wires or blown transformers is often to blame, according to one firefighter.

More coverage: Strong winds bring county to a standstill

John McCaslin | Rappahannock News
Large flames burn grassland along Yancy Road in Woodville early Friday afternoon.
John McCaslin | Rappahannock News
Scorched hillsides in Woodville after flames were extinguished Friday afternoon by volunteer fire and rescue units from Rappahannock County and the Virginia Department of Forestry.
John McCaslin | Rappahannock News
A smoky blaze in Woodville on Friday afternoon.
About John McCaslin 257 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.