Authorities investigate national forest fires

WOODSTOCK – The U.S. Forest Service and the Shenandoah County fire marshal are investigating several fires that broke out Friday in the George Washington National Forest near Edinburg and the Wolf Gap Campground.

Fire Marshal David Ferguson said firefighters were called at 8:45 p.m. to Forest Road where they found several fires burning.

“Firefighters from Conicville responded up there along with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Forest Service law enforcement,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson would not specify the number of fires and a spokeswoman from the Forest Service refused to provide any information in accordance with an agency policy forbidding disclosure of an ongoing investigation.

Ferguson said no structures were affected by the fires, and no injuries were reported.

“Conicville found multiple fires when they went,” Ferguson said, adding that firefighters arrived at the site at 9:11 p.m. and left at 9:39 p.m.

“It doesn’t sound like they were there very long,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he was called to the scene on Saturday and has been working with law enforcement officials from the Forest Service since then.

He declined to say whether investigators believe the fires to be suspicious or whether they have made any determination on the cause.

No details were available on damage caused by the fires or the extent of the area that burned.

<p id=’reporter_info’>Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or <a href=’mailto:jbeck@nvdaily.com’>jbeck@nvdaily.com</a></p>