A couple of weeks ago a small brush fire was started in Smith Run, Browntown, VA by outdoor furnace ashes blowing into the woods. Before it had finished it had burned over 2,000 acres of the Shenandoah National Park. Fortunately, no one was injured and no homes were destroyed, although the photograph shows how close it came to claiming one property.
With winds gusting at up to 50 miles an hour the flames spread quickly and many residents and their pets had to be evacuated. Unfortunately, no such provisions exist for the wildlife, they have to fend for themselves as best they can.
The firefighters did a great job and it is thanks to them that the damage was not worse. In all it took a week to put the fire out, helped by the changing weather taht brought snow, ice, sleet and rain to quench the flames.
This is a timely reminder that there is still a fire ban in Northern Virginia, with no fires allowed before 4.00 p.m. and all fires to be extinguished by midnight and, of course, everyone should take care to dispose of hot ashes in metal containers with lids until they are completely cold.