Forest Fire Burning In Goshen Area

By 
Darryl Woodson
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View from Farmhouse Road. (Mary Woodson photo)

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View from Va. 39 near Wilson Springs. (Mary Woodson photo)

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View from Goshen Pass wayside looking east. (Mary Woodson photo)

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View from the Rockbridge Baths firehouse. (Mary Woodson photo)

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4 p.m. Saturday - The forest fire in the Goshen-Rockbridge Baths area has burned an estimated 700 acres so far, as Virginia Department of Forestry crews work to contain the fire that started Friday evening.

According to Nathan Ramsey with Rockbridge County Fire-Rescue, on Friday evening around 6:30, Goshen Fire, Rockbridge Baths Fire, Kerrs Creek Fire-EMS and Rockbridge County Fire-Rescue were dispatched for a brush fire in the Goshen Pass area.

After the initial investigation, it was determined that the fire was more towards Rockbridge Baths/Wilson Springs.  He said the Virginia Department of Forestry and U.S. Forestry crews quickly began attempts to put a line around the fire with dozers. Some VDF personnel were actually on their way to a fire in Alleghany County and were diverted to the Rockbridge County fire, arriving within an hour of the initial call.

Local fire department crews alerted residents along Farmhouse Road and Wildwood Lane of the fire and recommended voluntary evacuations as a precaution. Some residents of Wildwood Lane came to the Rockbridge Baths firehouse, but were able to head back to their homes around midnight.

Due to the strong winds, the fire rapidly burned through the mountainous areas from the Laurel Run area of Goshen Pass toward Farmhouse Road. The fire, however, did not reach Farmhouse Road itself or Va. 39. Wind gusts reached a high of 57 mph during the night before the winds calmed prior to sunrise.

The fire, said Ramsey, is now moving slowly in the same general area.

Local fire crews Friday evening remained in the area, including the Goshen Pass areas of Route 39, to ensure the safety of all properties. Rockbridge Baths Fire Department members patrolled the area throughout the night. Walkers Creek and South River fire departments stood by at the Rockbridge Baths firehouse. 

The cause of the fire is undermined at this time. No structures were damaged from the fire.

 

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