Fire on Elephant Mountain Now 33% Contained
Rockbridge Co., VA - It may have been a rainy, dreary day, but forestry officials say a fire is still burning on a Rockbridge County mountain.
As of Monday evening, 250 acres had burned. That's down from a previous 300 acre estimate. A helicopter team flew over the Elephant Mountain, using GPS to map the area to determine acreage. Fire officials say the blaze is 33% contained.
"Mother nature helped us out greatly by stopping the spread. Now we need to get a line around it so when it dries out, it
doesn't go anywhere," said Ted Docev.
Docev is the incident commander with the US Forest Service, in charge of about 100 firefighters, including a 20 person hot shot crew just in from North Carolina.
"The plan of attack is to go direct on this and put a hand line in on the backside of the mountain," said Docev.
They meet in a circle to discuss how'll they'll circle the fire, head out in a line, to make that hand line with chainsaws and other tools.
A helicopter circles overhead:
"It will fly the perimeter and it will take those GPS coordinates and make for a more detailed, accurate map," said National Forest spokesman Michael Williams.
That map will show how many acres have actually burned, according to Williams.
"There was a lot of rain that hit this fire. That actually helps to keep the flames in check. It does not put the fire out."
But it does help crews get to the next scene in this great drama, although the ending is still unknown.
"We want to help it stay in its place," said Docev.