Windsor fire destroys wheat fields

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, June 9, 2011

By Gwen Albers

The Tidewater News

WINDSOR — No one was hurt and no structures were damaged when a fire destroyed 10 to 15 acres of wheat in the Windsor area on Wednesday.

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More than 50 firefighters responded to the blaze on Shiloh Drive and Five Forks Road after getting the call at 4:08 p.m., said Rusty Chase, chief for Isle of Wight County Emergency Services.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

“We don’t know how it got started,” Chase said. “This time of year, when we’re looking at the dry conditions, and you have farm equipment or even wildlife that can pick up embers from a cigarette butt or burning leaves, (you never know what may have started it).”

A truck used to transport wheat from the field also was destroyed.

“The truck did catch on fire, but whether or not the truck caused the fire is unknown and that’s yet to be determined,” Chase said.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out the blaze, which threatened two structures.

“It was a pretty intense fire because of the dry conditions, being in an open field, and with a little wind that accelerated the fire as well,” Chase said. “Windsor Volunteer Fire Department was on the scene within a matter of minutes and quickly contained the fire. They were like soldiers pushing back the fire. They did an outstanding job.”

A farmer used his tractor to dig a plow line in the field to keep the fire from spreading.

“I’ve been doing this profession for 34 years,” Chase said. “We always have such a great support of volunteers.”

Windsor was assisted by Smithfield, Chuckatuck and Carrsville volunteer fire departments and Windsor Rescue Squad.