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Madison County wildfire has more than doubled in size

A wildfire in Madison County near Shenandoah National Park has more than doubled in size since lightning reportedly ignited the blaze this past Tuesday.

What was a 20-acre fire on Tuesday had consumed 280 acres as of Saturday morning, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry. The state agency said Saturday that 10% of the fire had been contained.

Local, state and federal crews are on the scene of what’s being called the Quaker Run fire. Firefighters said they are working to install fire lines in an effort to cut off the blaze’s full source.

“No homes or structures have been damaged by the fire and there are no evacuation orders in place at this time,” the state Forestry Department said in a statement. “DOF remains on scene today working with local fire departments, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.”

Immediate suppression actions were initiated earlier this week by the Department of Forestry and local fire departments, but the fire has continued to slowly grow in size. Remote, steep and rocky terrain is making containment difficult, the forestry department said.

The fire is believed to have started earlier this week by a lightning strike, according to a statement from Republican state Sen. Bryce Reeves of Spotsylvania.

The state Forestry Department has said the cause of the fire is still under investigation and that more than 75% of wildfires in Virginia are caused by humans.

With much of the Shenandoah Valley at the peak of the leaf-peeping season, the state has urged those out viewing leaves to be cautious.

“While we encourage you to get out there and enjoy the foliage, please be mindful that there is an ongoing wildfire in Madison County, with smoke impacting air quality in several adjacent counties,” the state Department of Forestry said in a statement.


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