LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Wildfires continue to rage around the Commonwealth, the latest fire in Patrick County now spanning nearly one thousand acres. Governor Glenn Youngkin has issued a state of emergency in the commonwealth, and several counties are enacting “burn bans” to try and prevent more fires.

The Department of Forestry provided an update Friday that its wildland firefighters are working to suppress 19 wildfires that have so far burned 9,424 acres. This is Friday’s update on the largest fires:

  • Quaker Run: 3,700 acres, 40% contained
  • Rachel’s Chapel: 1,100 acres, 40% contained
  • Tuggles Gap: 1,050 acres, 35% contained

Chief Todd Stone from the Bedford Fire Department says they’re working around the clock to fight fires in their local community.

“We have had about twenty some brush fires in the county in the last week or so,” said Stone.

Chief Stone says some of those fires have actually damaged homes, which prompted the department, alongside the county, to implement a burn ban to try and reduce harm.

“We haven’t had a significant rain since October 15, we’ve had wind almost every day, so it only takes a matter of minutes for a fire to grow quickly,” said Stone.

In just the last two weeks, wildfires have scorched several areas in southwest Virginia. In Craig County, a wildfire reached nearly 100 acres, and in Pulaski County over 500 acres were burned.

However, Cory Swift from the Department of Forestry says this isn’t all that uncommon.

“We do tend to see some larger fires in southwest Virginia during the fall fire season just about every year,” said Swift.

Swift says dry and windy weather conditions are a huge factor in the spread of wildfire.

“Wildfire danger is very high in most of Virginia,” said Swift.

In order to protect your home during the Fall fire season, Swift and Chief Stone shared you should move things like leaves, sticks, and firewood away from your house. They say 25 feet is ideal, and this will reduce the risk of fire damage to your home.

Chief Stone also says that throughout the burn ban, the department will have at least two agencies responding to every fire just in case they need extra manpower.

If you have any concerns or questions about protecting your home from fire you can always reach out to your local fire department for help.