Greenbrier County brush fire ruled accidental - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Greenbrier County brush fire ruled accidental

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MAXWELTON -

     A massive brush fire in Greenbrier County is ruled accidental Wednesday.
     The fire started Tuesday around 4 p.m. and Wednesday fire foresters looked into the cause.
     They said it was started from someone dumping wood stove ashes onto dry grass.
Lewisburg Fire Chief Wayne Pennington said, "If we didn't have a quick response it would have been a very dangerous fire."
     Thanks to the quick response by almost 40 firefighters, the brush fire was completely contained in about four hours.
     The charred grass goes on further than the eye can see just off Brink Road in Maxwelton.
     Wind gusts over 50 miles per hour and extremely dry conditions made it a challenge to contain.
     But firefighters said the wind actually worked to their advantage because certain things like an old vehicle and the woods nearby didn't have time to catch on fire.
Pennington said, "Things that have a higher ignition point temperatures they are not subjected to the flame as long so they don't burn but it's a very rapid moving fire it transferred from a grass fire to a brush fire in the wooded areas."
The fire spread quickly to more than 40 acres of grass and brush.
     Through the months of March, April and May outdoor burning is prohibited between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. but sometimes you should wait even longer.
Fire Forester Eric Judy said, "Even if it's after 5 o clock sometimes it's not a good idea, wait for favorable conditions."
     Pennington said this fire should serve as a lesson to everyone as we head through fire season.
He said, "If people are burning at night make certain all the hot coals are out because when we get into the extreme red conditions the wind picks up it can blow an ember out, get outside that safety strip and you can have this."
No one was injured in Tuesday's fire.