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Starvation Road fire a poignant reminder of reason behind burn ban

Virginia is in now in the midst of the state’s yearly 4 p.m. outdoor burning ban, and a Gloucester firefighter recently recalled an incident from a dozen years ago that demonstrates the reason why such a ban is in place this time of year.

The Starvation Road fire

Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Fire Prevention Officer Tony Villani said that one of the worst fires in the history of the department was the Starvation Road fire, which occurred on Feb. 29, 2011.

It was a very windy Saturday afternoon, and a downed powerline initially sparked the fire, said Villani, and the conditions of high wind, low humidity, and dry vegetation led to “catastrophic results” in the upper end of Gloucester.

“The fire jumped Adams Creek, and three houses were destroyed, along with nearly 1,000 acres of marsh, woods, and fields,” said Villani in the release. “With the exception of Tower 1, every piece of GVFRS fire apparatus was on scene fighting that fire.”

At the same time, Abingdon Vol...

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