Monday, March 06, 2006

Wildfire continues to spread

The fire near Montvale has consumed almost 2,000 acres.

A wildfire that began Saturday afternoon near the Bedford-Botetourt county line west of Montvale grew considerably overnight despite forecasts for rain and sleet.

Randy Sutton with the National Park Service estimated the blaze had consumed close to 2,000 acres by this morning.

The wildfire is still well within the containment area, Sutton said. Today's damp weather – and in some places, snow – will help slow the fire but will not be enough to put it out.

At noon, fire officials will turn over operations to a federal disaster management team, called “the blue team.” The team specializes in wildfires and other large-scale natural disasters.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is reporting no problems with visibility along U.S. 460 near Montvale. The Blue Ridge Parkway from U.S. 460 to Virginia 43 near Buchanan is still closed.

Weather Journal

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