Firefighters keep brush fires from homes in Nicholas County

The fires burned across hundreds of acres.
The fires burned across hundreds of acres.(WSAZ)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:01 PM EST
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NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Four brush fires had almost every fire department in Nicholas County, along with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, rushing to the hills Sunday, according to Wilderness Fire Department Assistant Chief Noah Allen.

“We had to set up fire lines. The high winds made things very difficult to manage these fires,” Allen said.

Dawn Wilson, who lives down Bruce Lane, watched as a brush fire spread across 500 acres of land and moved quickly toward her home.

“It was so bright, the trees and everything, and the woods. It looked like it was moving fast,” Wilson said. “It looked like it was coming closer and was not only moving towards us but further down the road. And there is houses and barns and fields, and if it gets in the dry hay, then everything is going to go up.”

Allen said, by Sunday night, the flames were under control. Firefighters believe two of the fires were started by cigarettes.

“There was two fires in the Route 39 area. Both started along the road. One involved a tire being on fire, and there was suspicious activity that was also reported,” Allen said.

Firefighters worked to keep 20 homes close to the fires safe.

“If we don’t get any rain and things get dry again, we just ask people to obey the fire laws until 5 p.m. in the evening. Manage a fire if you make one and make sure it is out and please don’t throw cigarette butts out the windows,” Allen said.

The only buildings to catch fire were two barns. Firefighters said one minor injury was while fighting the brush fires.

The operation for Nicholas County fire departments was a large one.

“We have to pay money for fuel, truck maintenance, insurance, workers comp, equipment, so it’s very costly to run a fire department,” Allen said.

He said departments in the county are pushing for a fire fee in the county. Other counties in West Virginia have similar fees.

For more information, visit the Wilderness Fire Department website.

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