Bent Mountain Fire Gets Close To Eight Homes

Roanoke County, VA - A brush fire on Bent Mountain caused some scary moments for eight homeowners overnight.

Flames forced one family to evacuate while the rest got ready for the order themselves.

The fire, estimated at just under 14 acres, was still smoldering this morning off Willett Lane in Roanoke County.

So far, there is still no word on how the fire started - the second on Bent Mountain this past weekend - but with the flames out investigators are now looking for the cause.

While the fire was relatively small, low humidity, high winds and the fact that it erupted in an area of dead trees ravaged by a Gypsy Moth infestation - led officials to attack the fire immediately.

"With the use of bulldozers and some chainsaw crews we're trying to eliminate the standing dead trees; get them on the ground in order to create conditions that are safer for firefighters to work," said Denny McCarthy of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Investigators believe the fire started in a power line cut adjacent to County Supervisor Ed Elswick's property.

Elswick said he awoke at 3:30 Monday morning to find the fire to within 100 yards of his home.

"In the right of way behind my house there's a bunch of logs where AEP had cleared the power lines and they were blazing... it was an incredible fire," said Elswick.

Roanoke County does plan on handing the scene over to the state at any time... a scene that will be monitored for several days to ensure the fire doesn't reignite.