Strong winds blew into Rappahannock County Sunday evening, hours after buckets of rain and melting snow turned the soil into a saturated sponge. As soggy as the ground was, it took no time for 50 mph wind gusts to dry out the fields of brush, to the extent that several acres caught fire along REC transmission lines south of Scrabble late Monday afternoon.
Volunteer firefighters from Sperryville, Castleton, and Salem in Culpeper County were finally able to douse the difficult-to-reach blaze. The howling winds let up Monday evening, but not before causing numerous power outages, mostly due to downed trees. Crews arrived from North Carolina to help REC restore power.