Forest fires in three national parks in Virginia were brought under control yesterday with the help of a day of intermittent drizzle and hundreds of firefighters flown to the state from as far away as Neveda and New Mexico.
The largest fire, a 17 mile-long, one-mile-wide blaze on Massanutten Moutain in the Shenandoah Valley's George Washington National Forest had burned about 4,800 acres of woodland by the time it was contained yesterday.
Close to 500 firefighters as well as firemen from at least six local fire companies kept the Massanutten blaze within an 18-mile-long fire line of hastily dug and bulldozed fire line of hastily dug and bulldozed ditches and away from several homes in the valley west of Luray, according to the U.S. Forest Service. No buildings were lost and there were no injuries in any of the fires.
The Massanutten fire and four smaller fires in Jefferson National Forest, father south, were listed as man-made or suspicious and are under investigation.
A 600-acre fire in Shenandoah National Park east of Luray and north of Rte. 211 apparently was caused by a power line damaged in high winds. The winds and lack of rain caused all of the fires and spread quickly, officials said.