March 16, 2012, 7:45 p.m. (ROANOKE COUNTY) -- A brush fire that has been burning since early this afternoon on Poor Mountain remains under investigation, however investigators have ruled out all natural causes. Investigators now believe the brush fire that has burned about 18 acres on the steep and rocky terrain was sparked by human activity.
More than 20 firefighters from Roanoke County Fire & Rescue and the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) will remain on-scene throughout the night to hand dig containment lines. Officials are considering back burning from the containment lines to the fire area. Additional crews will arrive in the morning to relieve the night crews. The bulldozers that were initially brought in to dig containment lines were not able to be used because of the steep and rocky terrain.
Officials with the VDOF initially flew over the brush fire in a helicopter and estimated the fire to be about 40-50 acres, but after more comprehensive assessment, they have now determined that only about 18 acres have been charred and another 5-10 acres will burn before the fire is under control.
Still, no houses are in danger and no injuries have occurred.