MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia National Guard (VNG) has sent soldiers and airmen to Madison County to help the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) in clearing the Quaker Run Fire and allocate resources to other fires in the state.
VNG deployed about 30 fire-trained soldiers and airmen to Madison County in an effort to help the department contain the Quaker Run Fire on Nov. 15 after ending their helicopter aerial support on Nov. 11. According to VNG, the helicopters have dropped 33 buckets, which total to nearly 22,800 gallons of water, to help put out the fire.
The soldiers and airmen underwent wildland firefighter training with DOF from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 at Fort Barfoot in Nottoway County, where they received personal protective equipment and learned about safety procedures and basic tools, familiarized themselves with bulldozers and engines, fireline construction and proper fire shelter use.
The trained VNG troops patrolled previously burned areas to look for potential hot spots, used leaf-blowers to clear newly-fallen leaves from reburning and maintained the fire containment as part of their mop-up operations with DOF.
According to VNG, support is expected to continue until Nov. 16. Additional soldiers and airmen are providing operations center, administrative, logistical and public information support in Richmond and at Fort Barfoot.