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Crews busy with field fires Monday

A rash of field fires across the county kept area fire departments busy Monday afternoon and resulted in several acres of pasture and cutover land being burned.

A brush and field fire on Cheerful Lane burned an acre and a half of land belonging to Richard Valley of Vernon Hill.

According to Liberty Volunteer Fire Department Engineer Randy Fisher, when he arrived at 1116 Cheerful Lane shortly after 2 p.m. he discovered fire was threatening three buildings with one of the buildings on fire.

“The fire was right up against the three buildings,” Fisher said, adding fire had consumed an old dead tree and a roll of hay.

Baby goats occupying the building that had caught fire were quickly removed as firefighters hastily worked to extinguish the blaze, Fisher said.

No one was injured in the fire that is believed to have started from a match being dropped on the ground after a cigarette was lit.

Six firefighters from Liberty Volunteer Fire Department responded on four trucks and were assisted by seven firefighters from North Halifax, three firefighters from Halifax, three firefighters from Oak Level and three firefighters from Riceville-Java volunteer fire departments. 

Also assisting were County Forestry Technician G. T. Hendrick and Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders.

Firefighters remained on the scene about an hour and a half bringing the fire under control, Fisher said.

As soon as firefighters returned to their respective departments, they were called to another field fire in the southwestern portion of the county about a half-mile from the Pittsylvania County line.

According to North Halifax Volunteer Fire Chief Ronnie Waller, 55  firefighters battled a field fire that burned about two-and-a-half acres of pasture and cut-over land off Logan Road Monday evening.

Waller said the field and brush fire was reported shortly after 4:30 p.m. and was very difficult to get to.

That fire, believed to have started from nearby residents burning trash, also destroyed an old pack barn and its contents, Waller said.

A total of 55 firefighters from five departments responded including North Halifax, Liberty, Oak Level, Riceville-Java and Renan volunteer fire departments. Forestry personnel also assisted with a bulldozer.

No one was injured, and the fire chief estimated damages at $5,000.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 8:30 insuring the fire was completely extinguished.

Another grass fire burned approximately one-quarter of an acre on Old Cluster Springs Road around noon on Monday.

According to Forestry Technician Hendrick, someone was burning in a barrel, and an aerosol can exploded blowing the can out of the barrel which caught the grass on fire.

Hendrick urges county residents to exercise caution when burning during dry conditions.

Even though snow may be on the ground, the wind can dry out the land in a matter of hours because the air is extremely dry this time of year, he added.

The leaves and grass are dried out, and it only takes a little bit of wind to fan the flames “and let a fire out,” Hendrick said. 

He reminded county residents that in the event of a fire, the person responsible for starting the blaze is responsible for the forestry department’s cost of suppression.