Craig-Alleghany wildfire gobbles more than 2,500 acres
CRAIG COUNTY – The woodlands fire that apparently started six days ago in Craig County has now gobbled more than 2,500 acres in Craig and Alleghany County. More than 100 federal and local firefighters are battling the flames in the Barbours Creek Wilderness area on Potts Mountain close to the Botetourt County line.
National Forest spokesmen reassured concerned people out of the area who are familiar with Craig Healing Springs that the fire is well east of that area, on the opposite side of Rt. 311. The fire area is about 15 miles north of the Town of New Castle.
The latest update from the Eastern Divide Ranger District’s Barbara Walker, shortly before 8 p.m. last night, said about 2,685 acres of woodlands are involved. Walker estimated one-third of the fire has been contained.
Although initial reports said the fire appeared to have started from “human causes” in the vicinity of the Potts Mountain Jeep Trail, more recent reports said the cause has not been determined.
Walker said 102 firefighters, in addition to support staff, as well as two bulldozers and a contract helicopter to drop water are assigned to the fire. The Potts Mountain Jeep Trail and the nearby Pines Campground are both closed until further notice.
Drivers on Barbours Creek Road, Rt. 617, may encounter smoke, fire and firefighters, Walker cautioned.
Firefighters on the fire are from the Forest Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Alleghany’s Boiling Spring Volunteer Fire Department and Craig and Alleghany County Emergency Services.
A Type 1 Southern Region Incident Management Team is managing the Barbours Creek Fire as part of the Easter Complex, Walker said.