Renewed partnership

Warren County Fire and Rescue Logo. Used by permission by Warren County Deputy Director of Emergency Services Brian Foley

Warren County Fire and Rescue and the American Red Cross is holding a 10-Day Challenge, Sound the Alarm and Save a Life.

Firefighters will be visiting homes April 14-April 20th to provide
free smoke alarm inspections and installations as part of their renewed partnership.

If you would like help installing an alarm or have one that needs inspected, please call 540-636-3830.

or more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

SNP trail closures

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Shenandoah National Park has closed Hull School Trail from Skyline Drive to Thornton River Upper Trail and Thornton River Upper Trail from the intersection of Hull School Trail to Skyline Drive due to the Rocky Branch Wildfire.

Closures still in place include Skyline Drive from Thornton Gap (mile 31.5) to Mathews Arm (mile 22.1), Appalachian Trail from Elkwallow to Beahms Gap, Rocky Branch Trail, Neighbor Mountain Trail, Jeremys Run Trail, and Byrds Nest 4 shelter.

A parkwide fire ban remains in effect.

National Park Service firefighters are working in partnership with Luray Fire Department and Virginia Department of Forestry.

The cause of this fire is unknown.

No structures are immediately threatened by the fire.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Wildfires update

Virginia Department of Forestry used by permission from VDF Communication Specialist Cory Swift-Turner

The Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) and Virginia firefighters have responded to over 100 wildfires within the last 48 hours.

While several fires in the region, including the Yeawood Fire in Culpeper have been contained.

The Coal Mine Fire in Shenandoah County is approximately 80% contained as of Friday evening.

Thankfully rain has began to fall in the area.

As fires become under control, crews are reallocated to wildfires in Page, Rockingham, and Shenandoah Counties.

Additionally, Federal, State, and local resources are aiding in the efforts to protect lives and property.

In Page County, several fires including the 211 West Fire will be combined into one incident named the “Luray Complex,” under a partnership between the Southern Area Gold Incident Management Team, the USDA Forest Service and DOF.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester firefighters: Maintain fire extinguishers

Drew DeHaven

Winchester firefighters remind residents of the importance of maintaining a working fire extinguisher after responding to a kitchen fire this week in which the occupant put out the fire using one.

Firefighters responded to the residence on Tuesday, Winchester Fire and Rescue said Friday. The resident had a fire on top of the stove and used a fire extinguisher to put it out. It was the fourth such incident in six months that city firefighters responded to, the department said.

Officials remind residents to keep well-maintained fire extinguishers, especially in hazardous areas like kitchens, garages and basements. It’s also important to maintain working smoke alarms, they said.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Virginia’s fall fire season ends

During this year’s fall fire season, which ran from October 15th to November 30th, the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) responded to 156 wildfires that burned nearly 25,000 acres and damaged 13 structures.

Suppression efforts by DOF and the agency’s firefighting partners are
credited with saving 224 homes and 268 other structures, with an estimated protected value of $46.8 million.

In comparison to the 89 wildfires that burned 2,654 acres in the 2022 fall fire season.

Drought conditions combined with seasonal factors such as low humidity, high winds and dry vegetation, allow wildfires to start easily, spread quickly and be difficult to contain.

Although the fall fire season has ended, the threat of wildfire is always present, as many parts of Virginia are still in a drought conditions.

Residents should: Delay outdoor burning until your area receives heavy precipitation, check for local fire restrictions, call 911 if a fire escapes your control or if you see a wildfire, and remember “Only you can prevent wildfires!

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Rappahannock Fire and Rescue has a reminder

Rappahannock Fire and Rescue would like to ask, if you had a fire at your house, would a fire truck fit down your driveway?

If firefighters cannot reach your home safely, they will need to find
an alternative way that could take longer.

Remember that every second counts.

To help firefighters find your house quickly, please make sure your house number is visible, make sure your driveway is safe and visible.

Also make sure your driveway is at least 12 feet wide, and make sure there is room for rescue vehicles to turn around.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Quaker Run fire update

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Shenandoah National Park‘s latest update on the Quaker Run Fire is that it has burned approximately 425 acres and is 35 percent contained.

The Department of Forestry reports that firefighters continue to try to encircle the fire in very steep and rough terrain.

Smoke from the fire is visible in neighboring communities as reported by the Warren County Fire and Rescue.

While the fire is not in the park, it is close to the Old Rag and Whiteoak Boundary area.

Park officials are assisting in fighting the fire but at this time it should only impact park visitors through smoke, so plan accordingly.

Firefighters continue to install fire lines around the fire to cut fuel sources, this effort is expected to take several days.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Shenandoah National Park updates Miller Head fire

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Firefighters from the National Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, US Forest Service, and a Fire Department from Colorado have continued clean up operations from a fire that started on Friday, September 8th.

The two and half acre fire at Miller Head appears to have been naturally started and is fully contained.

Crews will continue to monitor the fire perimeter throughout the weekend.

You can help protect the park by completely distinguishing all fires, never building a fire in back country, and reporting any fires or smoke to park rangers.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester Emergency Communications Personnel deemed First Responders

The City of Winchester’s Mayor John Smith made a proclamation naming Emergency Communications Personnel of the Winchester Police Department as first responders.

In the proclamation, Mayor Smith acknowledged the importance of the role of Emergency Communications Personnel including their crucial dissemination of information to firefighters and police officers.

He also reminded residents that this personnel is the first point of contact for community members who may be experiencing a stressful emergency and of their substantial contributions in apprehending criminals, suppressing fires, and treating patients.

The Winchester Police Department hopes that this proclamation will continue to other agencies around Virginia to acknowledge the significant contributions of Emergency Communications Personnel.

To view the proclamation, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Va Senators vote for fire department funding

frederick county fire marshal's office

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine voted yesterday to pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act.

This legislation will continue funding grant programs that support fire departments and firefighters across the state.

The timing of this vote came at a crucial time as two critical programs neared their expiration deadline of 2024.

The legislation reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program which provides firefighters and other first responders with the crucial protective gear, equipment, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public.

The votes also helped to reauthorize the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program which aims to help fire departments and volunteer interest groups increase or maintain the number of trained, front line firefighters.

Since 2015, over $8 million has been awarded from these programs to communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Numerous localities have already accepted funding through the programs including the Stephens City Fire and Rescue Company which received $21,068 earlier this year.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.