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Spotsylvania firefighters battled four brush fires in one Saturday afternoon

With all this snow, it’s hard to believe but on Saturday, the area was under a fire weather watch. High winds and dry ground led to a spate of brush fires in Spotsylvania County on Saturday afternoon, when firefighters were called to four fires from 3-6  p.m. Those brush fires were in different parts of the county and taxed the fire and rescue department, said Fire Chief Monty Willaford.

The first call came in at 3:06 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the fire at 3436 Massaponax Church Rd. at 3:15 p.m. and stayed to fight the fire until 4:30 p.m. That fire burned through about 1 acre of land, Willaford said.

Six units and 14 people responded to that fire, and while they battled that blaze, another call came in to the dispatch center at 3:32 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the next fire at 3:42 p.m. That fire, at 9600 Whitehall Blvd., was fanned by high winds and burned 2 acres of brush and trees. Twelve units and 16 people responded to the fire, and firefighters remained on the scene until 7:47 p.m. A bulldozer from the Virginia Department of Forestry was called in, so firefighters could dig trenches around the blaze. Then, if winds rekindled the fire, it would be contained.

At 4:45 p.m., a third call about a brush fire came in to dispatch. This time, the blaze was at 10400 Robert E. Lee Drive, near the county’s courthouse. About 7 acres were involved in the fire. Firefighters battled both blaze and winds–which were strong enough to blow the fire across fields, Willaford said. For this fire, 13 units and 24 people responded, and they stayed at the fire until 9:30 p.m.

Then, at 5:41 p.m., another call came in. Firefighters were at the scene of the fire at the corner of Comfort and Crestview lanes at 6:05 p.m. Nine units and 16 people responded and stayed on scene until 6:56 p.m. The county’s resources were taxed, and they called in units from Orange and Louisa counties, Willaford said.

No structures were harmed, but some were threatened by the fires, he said.

“Due to the diligence of the firefighters, all of the fires were contained and no structures were lost,” Willaford said.

He added that the back-to-back blazes were a good example of why county residents should heed fire weather warnings, even if the ground seems damp. When winds get high, they can air-dry the top layers of brush, Willaford said.

“And then it takes just a little bit, not much more than a spark” to ignite a fire, he said.

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