Ramble On

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Moving on - a wildfire in Stanley

Blogger’s Comment (added November 2009): In November, the Hawksbill Cabin blog site was visited by Terry Pettit. He read some back posts and came across these two posts on the 2008 brush fire near Stanley. Chief Pettit was concerned that my posts may not have clearly emphasized the volunteer nature of the Stanley Volunteer Fire Department, the value of its contributions, and how it is organized to respond to these events. He offered some additional insight on the process and organization – clarifications I am glad to receive. I have included Chief Pettit’s comments in full at the end of the original posts – and I invite readers to be sure and read them as well. JT

Last Friday morning, while I was planning my drive out to Stanley, I learned that there had been a fire nearby. At the time I read the article on the Harrisonburg TV station, the fire had burned about 10 acres. Tonight I learned that firefighters in Page County were working Saturday to put out the last remnants of the fire, which ended up burning 770 acres.

At first, the news said that the source could not be reported pending an investigation...we'd heard that there are stills around the area and were thinking that something saucy was going on. Turns out, due to low humidity this time of year, this was a litter fire that got out of control.

They say that if a fire like this gets out of control. the landowner has to pay the fees related to fighting the fire in Page County. They estimated these fees would run about $40K for this one. The Google Earth image points to the location of the fire, a few miles southwest of us.

Clarifying information from Chief Pettit (added November 2009): Jim, I was looking at your website and noticed a correction that needs to be made reference to the brush fire in 2008 outside Stanley. The Stanley Volunteer Fire Department is an all volunteer department and receives no payments from any call we respond too. Donations are accepted. The Virginia Forestry Department by law has the right and will charge you for the cost of bringing a wild land fire under control and extinguishing it. The money goes to the State of Virginia. During the 30 hours the Stanley fire department was on the scene of the Lucas Hollow fire the 25 members that responded all as always donated their time and the cost of fuel and supplies came out of our budget. The department’s budget is $125,000.00 per year and the county of page supplies $45,000.00 of that total, we have to raise the rest through donations, meals, events, etc. I hope that the people that read your blog understand that we did not receive any money and get the wrong idea that we do on calls. Terry A. Pettit, Stanley Fire Chief

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