~ Provided by Stanley Fire Department
Fire Chief Terry A. Pettit reported that the Stanley Fire Department was called at 1:31 p.m. Tuesday for a brush fire along Tanners Ridge Road six miles southeast of Stanley.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had spread on both sides of the road. Due to the high winds, the fire spread fast. Chief Pettit advised that the winds made it too dangerous to fight the fire, and thus began a defensive attack by protecting structures only.
Additional resources were called in from the U.S. Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry and Rockingham County, which included several crews and two bulldozers.
Chief Pettit reported that his department responded with five units and nearly 30 members. They were assisted by a brush truck and tanker from the Luray Fire Department and an engine from the Shenandoah Fire Department.
Page County EMS also responded, but no in juries were reported.
Tanners Ridge Road was closed for about six hours, but has since been reopened and an evacuation plan for residents in the Skyline Lakes Subdivision was put in place, if needed, by opening the park gates to the Skyline Drive.
Chief Pettit said that the fire on the west side of the mountain was contained; however, the fire on the Pine Grove side of Tanners Ridge was still out of control as of Wednesday morning.
Forestry and national park crews remained on the scene through the night and all day Wednesday, and local volunteer firefighters are available for structure protection if needed, Pettit said.
Pettit also stated that the estimated size of the fire was around 20 acres at this time and the fire started when a tree fell over a power line knocking it down.
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