Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 25, 2014

Several brush fires reported in Mercer County

OAKVALE — Area firefighters were busy Thursday when several brush fires were reported in rural areas of Mercer County.

Mercer County 911 received calls at approximately 12:25 p.m. about a brush fire on Southern Hollow Road in the Elgood area. The Oakvale and Athens Volunteer Fire Departments were dispatched.

Another fire covering approximately 145 acres was reported later in the day at Herndon Mountain in the Oakvale area, according to Christopher White, forestry supervisor-Fire Region 2 South, for the state Division of Forestry. A third fire was found in the Pigeon Creek area.

A burning brush pile ignited the Pigeon Creek blaze, White said. The Herndon Mountain fire was started by arson, and the cause of the Southern Hollow Road fire had not been determined.

Besides the Athens and Oakvale departments, the East River and Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Departments were dispatched to brush fire scenes along with a forestry division unit, White said.

Firefighters were facing difficult conditions as well as the blazes themselves, said Fire Chief Dave Thompson of the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department. Dry weather conditions and wind were not helping the situation. Thompson was staffing the department’s fire station Thursday with other firefighters, but he was keeping track of the brush fire situation.

“It’s dry, it’s windy, it’s hilly terrain, it’s heavy growth and all that stuff,” he said.

In several instances, firefighters had to start their containment efforts all over again when wind blew the fire past their fire lines, Thompson said.

Efforts to control the fires were continuing Thursday evening.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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