DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) – A massive fire in Dinwiddie County was under control Monday night but flare ups continued into the night. Our cameras were there when fire crews rushed to contain several hot spots.
Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Forestry said they monitored the hotspots overnight and will be at the scene all day re-cutting and plowing lines. The department plans to scale back its presence today and begin doing periodic checks of the impacted area.
The cause of the fire has been determined to be legal debris burning that had been conducted several days earlier and was reignited by the high winds yesterday, according to fire officials. The fire weather for today has greatly improved with lower temperatures and lighter winds and no further problems are expected, though there may be a lingering smell of smoke.
The fire broke out around noon, near the intersection of Route 708 and 611 where about 200 acres burned. Residents are thankful tonight that their homes are okay and that their pets are safe after the brush fire threatened the area. Even after the evacuation order was lifted though, firefighters were standing by because parts of the area were still burning.
Fire crews still had to look out for smaller brush fires Monday night as burning debris continued to fall to the ground. Residents were just thankful to be able to return home after evacuation orders forced them out.
"We were just concerned that we might have had some smoke damage or some charring on the smoke or anything but I looked around my house and everything seems to be 100% intact," said resident, Kim Edwards.
Edwards spent nearly five hours out of her house Monday afternoon. Thankfully she had her dog, Ikeydo, by her side. Others waited anxiously to find out if their pets were okay.
"Three cats, a lizard, my son's lizard and some fish and I have a dog who usually stays on the front porch and I don't know if they got a hold of her or not," said resident, Tammy Vanscyoc.
Route 611 was closed and residents waited until they were given the all clear by firefighters to return home.
"When you think everything that you've worked for in your whole life could go up in flames in a matter of seconds and then you finally get that word of relief that every things okay, you just...it takes a minute to hit you and once it hits you you just want to thank God that every things okay," said Edwards.
Fierce winds made it easy for the fire to spread. Officials have not yet determined what caused it. And firefighters plan to be here throughout the night to put out any hot spots left from falling debris, again thankfully no homes were damaged by the 200 acre brush fire.