Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 12, 2012

4-alarm blaze burns mountain

By BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

GREEN VALLEY — Updated video: Fire still burning on November 12

Volunteer firefighters from four Mercer County fire departments responded to a large brush fire/forest fire, that was initially reported at an Ingleside Road residence, but quickly spread to the top of the mountain on the southern side of Clover Dew Dairy Road in Green Valley.

The initial call came shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, sending the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department to a location near a residence on the Ingleside Road side of the mountain, but shortly after the first responders arrived on scene, they requested additional manpower from other departments and asked some to respond to a staging point accessible from Catskill Road off of Clover Dew Dairy Road.

Steven Sommers, president of the Mercer County Firemen’s association was not on the scene of the fire early Sunday afternoon, but said any kind of fire in the kind of conditions that existed on Sunday can be particularly difficult to contain.

“A lot of people think that since it’s cold, fire won’t spread,” Sommers said. “There’s a lot of dry material that can fuel a wild fire now, and you also have the wind today which can really make it more difficult. If it’s dry, the fire can spread quickly.”

Mercer County emergency dispatch called out the Bluewell and East River volunteer fire departments early. As the fire spread south in the direction of I-77, the Oakvale Volunteer Fire Department joined the fight. Firefighters with the Division of Forestry were also on scene through the day.

By 9 p.m. Sunday evening, the footprint of the fire extended from a point near the Ada Sewage Treatment facility, eastward to the mountain above the old Clover Dew Dairy pond, and southward to a section between the 3- and 5-mile markers on I-77 — an area that encompasses approximately 400-600 acres.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com