Fires Burn Near Dulles

Fires Burn Near Dulles

Two fires reported near Dulles Airport Sunday afternoon.

Fire personnel battled two fires near Dulles International Airport Sunday afternoon.

Fire personnel from both the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority fire department and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue arrived at the first blaze along the west side of the Dulles property around 3:45 p.m., July 8. The land, at Route 606 and Beaver Meadow Road, is owned by the airport, but is leased to a construction company that builds playground equipment, Courtney Prebich, media relations manager for the authority, said.

"It is a rural part of the airport property, out near where the new runway will be," she said. "The fire was originally called in by air traffic control personnel. They were the ones who spotted it."

In the first fire 80 portable toilets, several pieces of playground equipment and four trucks were burned.

AROUND 6 P.M., while fire and rescue workers were cleaning up from the first fire, they spotted smoke coming from a second fire approximately one-half mile away.

"The second fire was not on airport property," Prebich said.

Loudoun County Fire and Rescue responded to the second fire.

According to a press release issued by the fire and rescue department regarding the second fire, a criminal summons has been issued against the operator of a local landscaping company, SAB Lawn and Landscaping Inc., for the July 8 fire on its property, located at 43787 Beaver Meadow Lane. The fire originated from the illegal burning of debris in a pit, which then spread to a nearby mulch pile and then to nearby tires and a shed. Damage is estimated to be $10,000.

According to the press release, this fire is among several illegal fires on this company's property over the past few years for which it has been issued warnings from the Fire Marshal's Office. Mary Maguire, spokesperson for the fire and rescue department, said the two fires were unrelated.

MONDAY AFTERNOON the airport authority’s investigators were out at the site of the first fire examining the scene.

"Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the first fire," Prebich said.

No flights were delayed or cancelled as a result of the fires and Dulles International Airport remained open throughout the afternoon and evening.

— Erika Jacobson