The Wythe County Department of Emergency Management was recognized Tuesday morning by the United States Department of Agriculture for offering “outstanding support” during the recent forest fire.
Telling the county’s Board of Supervisors that the recent fire at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area was a “fairly extraordinary event,” Ranger Beth Merz praised the county’s emergency management department for its cooperation with Forest Service officials.
On behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture, the veteran ranger presented the board with a certificate that recognized the county’s contribution, “in providing firefighter access, public information and overall incident coordination.”
“We’re grateful for the wonderful support we’ve received from Wythe County, especially the emergency management and information departments,” announced Merz.
Speaking of the fire, which grew to roughly 1,500 acres, the US Forest Service representative stated, “It’s been a really long time since anyone can remember a fire of this magnitude.”
According to the US Forest Service, law enforcement officers have identified the fire’s initial source and are in the process of conducting further investigations.
In addition to recognizing the county’s emergency management department for their cooperation, the Forest Service will also be presenting the Speedwell Volunteer Fire Department with a similar award of recognition for their cooperation throughout the incident.
In addition to offering their firehouse to Forest Service firefighters for use as a base headquarters, during the fire, members of the Speedwell Volunteer Fire Department and others in the community supplied firefighters with a constant stream of food and refreshments.
“The community of Speedwell was just wonderful to us. We really appreciated their help and understanding,” said Merz in closing.
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