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Crews battle woods fire; county under red flag warning

Halifax County was under a red flag warning Monday and Tuesday, and fire department officials warned area residents to be cautious due to the combination of strong and gusty winds, low relative humidities and dry fine fuels.


While under the warning, firefighters from South Boston Fire Department were called to extinguish a brush and woods fire that broke out Monday afternoon on Springdale Drive shortly after 4 p.m.

When the 16 firefighters arrived on the scene, they found brush burning in a wooded area located near 1067 Springdale Drive, according to Fire Chief Steve Phillips.

 Firefighters used two trucks - a pumper and brush truck – and 1,500 gallons of water to help bring the fire under control.  

They remained on the scene for about three hours until 6:55 p.m. before extinguishing the woods and brush fire, Phillips said.

The Virginia Department of Forestry assisted South Boston firefighters plowing a line around the burning area.

Phillips said he the cause of the fire has not been determined, but he cautioned residents that on days like Monday and Tuesday when the area is under a red flag warning, “so many things can start a fire.”

Phillips encouraged people to be cautious on days when the area is under a red flag warning and suggested no burning be done on those days.

The county remained under the red flag warning until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Winds blew from the west 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusting up to 40 miles per hour at times, according to the National Weather Service. The relative humidity was as low as 22 percent.

“Limited recent rainfall has resulted in dry fuels across the region. Relative humidity and wind speeds were near or above critical fire weather thresholds for a red flag warning Tuesday afternoon into the evening creating dangerous fire weather conditions,” the National Weather Service warned. “Gusty winds can result in erratic fire weather behavior. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures created explosive fire growth potential.”

According to the National Weather Service hazardous weather outlook, no hazardous weather is expected Wednesday through Monday.