Central Virginia Firefighters spent much of the Sunday working against the wind and the flames. Low humidity, dry terrain, and blowing winds sent firefighters scrambling to put out brush fires.
"It can be very dangerous," said Captain Joe Phillips of the Charlottesville Fire Department. "The fire can spread and get out of control very quickly."
The Charlottesville Fire Department responded to four brush fires across the city Sunday. Flames from a small fire behind the Omni Hotel on the Downtown Mall damaged a nearby parked sport utility vehicle.
"Somebody probably threw a cigarette, or something that was already lit, down and it smoldered over time, and then caught the brush on fire," explained Sergeant Michael Gore of the Charlottesville Police Department.
Crews spent much of Saturday and Sunday near mile marker 110 on Interstate 64 fighting pockets of brush fires caused by a downed power line. Firefighters say in these dry conditions, one spark is all it takes.
"You need to be really careful about starting fires, like burning off brush and debris in your yard," warned Phillips.
A fire in east Orange County covered three to four acres and got dangerously close to homes in a Lake of the Woods neighborhood. Part of Route 601 was also shut down because of the blaze.
Phillips says brush fires are easily prevented by using safe burning practices.
"Make sure you have a water source available and that you've cleaned the area around the fire down to the bare dirt," he explained. "So if it does start to get out of control, you've got a fire-stop around it."
The Crozet Fire Department responded to 15 different brush fires Saturday and four more Sunday. Louisa and Greene counties also report several small brush fires throughout the day.