Orange County authorities say they intend to press charges after what is believed to have been a small, controlled burn escalated into a brush fire that swept through 7 acres and took more than seven hours for firefighters to control on Wednesday.
The fire spread in the area around Willistown Lane west of the town of Orange, according to Orange County’s fire department.
Residences were evacuated, the railroad was shut down and multiple fire and emergency medical services teams were dispatched to the area.
No injuries were reported.
Orange County Fire Chief Nathan Mort did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Progress on Thursday.
In a Facebook post, Orange County Fire & EMS said the flames required the assistance of several of the region’s firefighting and EMS teams, including Louisa, Madison, Culpeper and Orange as well as the volunteer fire companies from Orange, Gordonsville, Barboursville, Mine Run and Lake of the Woods.
Orange County Fire & EMS also said in its post that the fire was a good reminder that a burn ban is in effect in Orange County.
“Do NOT burn until after 4pm,” the post reads.
“The 4:00 p.m. Burn Law is a ban (or restriction) on open air burning before four (4) o’clock in the afternoon if your fire is within 300 feet of the woods or dry grass which can carry the fire to the woods,” according to the Orange County website. “You are allowed to burn between 4:00 p.m and midnight as long as you take proper care and precaution and attend your fire at all times.”
The burning of garbage, refuse, trash, rubbish and other forms of liquid or solid waste is prohibited at all times in Orange County.
All citizens are requested to notify the Orange County Emergency Communications Center at (540) 672-1234 prior to conducting an open burn. For more information about burning, please visit the Virginia Department of Forestry’s website.