Roanoke County Fire and Rescue aiding firefighters responding to Matts Creek fire in Bedford County

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:20 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Forestry is still fighting the Matts Creek fire in Bedford County – at more than 3,000 acres as of Thursday.

It’s been more than five days since the fire broke out – and while no homes or private property are threatened, more than 100 personnel are on the scene.

Multiple fire engines and helicopters are being used in efforts to contain the fire.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue’s agreement with the U.S. Forest Service allows them to be deployed to help with U.S. Forest Service incidents if they receive proper training and meet certain requirements.

“We had four people that were recently deployed to the Quaker Run fire, which was in Madison County and part of the Shenandoah National Park. That fire is now mostly contained. So, those four personnel have now been redeployed to the Matts Creek Fire, in Bedford County,” said Brian Clingenpeel, the community outreach coordinator for Roanoke County Fire and Rescue.

He says their job is to follow a “rapid extrication module”, meaning they aid firefighters who may find themselves in an emergency situation while responding to a fire.

“For example, if a tree were to fall on a firefighter, our folks would be there to assist that firefighter and get them medical aid, medical care, get them out from under the tree and transport them to the hospital,” explained Clingenpeel.

As days have gone on, the smoke in the air increased, leading to more school closures. So far, there have been no reports of any structural damages or any injuries to people.

The cause of this wildfire has not been determined – but rumors abound that it was started from a campfire. We’ll keep everyone updated on air and online with the latest information as schools continue to close and crews continue to fight it.