Albemarle County Officials: 300 Acre Fire in Albemarle County ContainedPosted: Updated:
UPDATE 04/13/2018 8:53 a.m: According to Albemarle County, "the Green Creek Road fire is fully contained. The final size is estimated to be approximately 300 acres. The Virginia Department of Forestry is on scene working with local units to address any remaining hot spots. The evacuation of the area has been lifted. No injuries occurred as a result of this fire."
Fire crews worked hard to battle a blaze in southwestern Albemarle County on Thursday evening.
Albemarle County Fire Chief Dan Eggleston confirmed that crews responded to a brush fire a little after 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, on Bungletown and Green Creek roads near Esmont.
A helicopter was on the scene Thursday evening, assessing the size of the fire. Shortly before 7 p.m., it was confirmed that the fire spanned roughly 40 acres. Twenty-five percent of the fire was claimed to be contained around 6:45 p.m., but, because of the wind, the fire split and spread in north and south directions. Because of that, crews say it's difficult to determine how long it'll take to put out the entire fire.
“The biggest issue we're fighting is the wind and the pine plantation," says Timmy Cersley, the assistant chief of the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Crews say no injuries and no structure damages have been reported to them, but they have yet to discover what started this large blaze.
“Still working on trying to figure out what caused that,” says Cersley. “We haven't gotten to that area yet. We're still working on the head of the fire to cut it off."
Limited voluntary evacuations were underway Thursday evening. A code red alert was issued, and residents within 3 miles of the fire at the intersection of Bungletown and Green Creek roads are being alerted to the situation."
According to an NBC29 viewer, residents nearby were on standby a little after 4 p.m. as they waited further instructions from police.
Albemarle County crews were stationed near structures that could pose a hazard, and battled the flames to get to the two residence closest to the fire. They advised drivers to avoid the area, and the 3000 block of Green Creek Road and Bungletown Road were both closed to traffic Thursday evening.
By late Thursday night, all but one family was allowed to return to their homes. That one family was Megan and Shannon Crickenberger and their five children.
“They walked over to us and said, ‘hey you guys gotta go, we'll do all we can to save your house but you gotta go,’" says Shannon Crickenberger.
The family of seven had to quickly evacuate their home.
“We've lived here nine years,” says Megan Crickenberger. “It's been our home. We've brought our kids home from the hospital, so this is watching, you know, our life memories. This is it.”
But for now, the family just has to wait it out while crews continue to work into the night.
County police say that because of this fire and the dry and windy conditions, there will be a great deal of smoke in the air in both Charlottesville and the northern part of the county.
Update at 9:06 p.m. from Albemarle County:
Due to this fire and the dry, windy conditions, there is currently a great deal of smoke in the air. Wind patterns are bringing smoke into the City of Charlottesville and northern part of the County. This is residual smoke from the Green Creek Road fire. Residents throughout the region may see or smell smoke throughout the night. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Press Release from Albemarle County at 6:42 p.m.:
Albemarle County Fire Rescue are currently responding to a brush fire in the Schuyler area of Albemarle County around Bungletown Road and Green Creek Road. There is currently an area of 40 acres involved, approximately 25% is contained. CodeRED was used to notify residents within a two mile radius of the area, approximately seven residences were evacuated.
The community is advised to be vigilant – weather conditions are favorable for fires. The current dry condition and high winds make the potential for rapid fire spread possible.
CodeRED is a free emergency notification service available to all residents and business owners within Charlottesville and Albemarle County that will notify citizens of emergency information through phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media. Enroll today by phone at 434-971-1263 or find the registration page here: http://communityemergency.org/.