Squirrel blamed for brush fire

BUCKHANNON – Officials believe a squirrel may have sparked a brush fire that broke out behind the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management late Friday afternoon.

Buckhannon Fire Chief Mitch Tacy said he thinks the animal may have somehow gotten into the power line, which led to the blaze.

“We think a squirrel probably got in it and shorted it out,” Tacy said of the power line Friday evening. “Sparks fell onto the ground and that probably started the fire. There was an animal half-barbecued at the foot of the (power line) pole.”

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to contain the fire, which spread across about 1 acre of wooded, private property that had to be accessed by foot, Tacy said. Tacy said firefighters, who accessed the area from the Brushy Fork Road, were able to drive their vehicles within about 100 yards of the fire, but then had to hoof it the rest of the way.

The Washington Volunteer Fire Company also responded to the scene Friday.

Tacy said neither the Upshur OEM office nor any other structures were in danger of catching on fire.