Friday, April 12, 2024

Fire Chief Updates Board of Supervisors on Croaker Road Brush Fire

Drone shot of Croaker Road Brush Fire. (James City County Fire Department)

Editor’s Note — WYDaily first reported here on the brush fire.

JAMES CITY COUNTY — During the James City County (JCC) Board of Supervisors Sept. 26 meeting, Fire Chief Ryan Ashe addressed the recent Croaker Road brush fire that began the morning of Sept. 13.

Presenting photographs and drone video, Ashe discussed the obstacles in containing the fire that continues to slow burn at the debris management site also known as “The Farm”.

Several area fire departments were dispatched to the site, which had no accessible water source, requiring water to be brought in. Ashe explained the amount of coordination and activity that took place during the approximately one-hour time period the morning the call came in.

Ashe said that water tanker trucks used the James City County Public Library as a refill space for approximately 180 water shuttle trips between seven trucks. In addition, the library was used as a refuel station for emergency vehicles.

(James City County Fire Department)

“We have had people ask us ‘why all this water flowing on a pile of sticks?’ First of all the piece of equipment is a significant cost and a tool they use to keep their business operational. The second thing is while we may see it as sticks, it’s really raw goods as an input into their business operation. And, certainly, the finished mulch pile is goods they want to sell. So, I think it was worthy of our time and effort,” said Ashe.

In reviewing the event, Ashe said there is an ongoing review of practices. He added that both the Fire Marshall and zoning offices have been to the site to follow up and work with the owners to maintain compliance in the future and to create better access in case of a future situation.

Ashe stated residents may expect continued smoke, possibly through the end of the week.

The JCC Board of Supervisors meeting can be viewed here.

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