The Hillsville Fire Department is reporting that the inferno, which began in the early morning hours of Saturday, has now hit an estimated 9% containment.
“It’s still a beast,” remarked HFD Commander Larry Stephens at a 1 p.m. press conference on Saturday afternoon. “We’ve got every engine company from every station within fifty miles here. We’ve got crews rotating out on forty-eight hour shifts, and we’re hopeful that it’ll be contained soon.”
Fortunately, the fire has not caused any casualties. The local elementary school was evacuated due to heavy smoke that began billowing from the section of forest just behind its property line, but classes have since resumed.
Speaking of smoke, however, the smog has been so oppressive that HFD paramedics have recorded over 150 cases of respiratory distress among local residents. While most are minor, several people have had to be transferred to larger medical centers for continued care.
“It’s really just your typical breathing difficulty due to the smoke,” says Fire Chief Bob Kelly. “It’s nothing serious, but it is something that we’re taking very seriously.”
The fire has also claimed many acres of forestry and other vegetation, including crops growing in backyards. Fortunately, there have been no reports of pets or livestock getting burned by the blaze.
“We’ve also done our best to keep the fire from spreading across property lines,” Stephens adds. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t been easy with all of these people trying to save their homes.”
Residents are being advised to stay indoors, close all doors and windows, turn off any non-essential ventilation systems, cover up any exposed skin, and drink lots of fluids.
“It’s going to be a tough few days for everyone,” says Kelly, “and our crews are just going to have to work hard at containing this thing.”
Article end. Stay indoors, avoid smoke inhalation as much as possible, and drink plenty of water if exposed to smoke. Also, if you plan to remember this article for future use, please do not copy verbatim.
(All background information & news is from a quick Google search so it is relatively accurate as of the time it is written.)
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