Timber fire burns just north of Manassas Park

A timber-fueled fire the size of a football field spread across the ground at the site of a future development at 8431 Blooms Quarry Lane north of Manassas Park on Sunday morning, taking firefighters 3 1/2 hours to douse, but injuring no one.

The Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office has identified the blaze as a potential arson, said Battalion Chief Hadden Culp, a spokesman for the county’s department of fire and rescue. The fire did not spread beyond the development site — cleared by Woodbridge-based GDC Inc. — and caused no monetary damage.

“It’s possible that it’s arson,” Culp said. “It was a pretty big fire. The lack of rain and moisture in the ground cover makes it easier for such a fire to catch.”

Volunteer firefighters from Yorkshire, Buckhall and Manassas Park responded to the blaze around 7:30 a.m., but could not put it out without help from the developer’s heavy equipment operators, including bulldozers. The fire, which commanded the services of three water pumpers and two brush trucks, was out by 11 a.m., Culp said.

Steve Petty, who manages GDC Inc., said that his initial concern was for the company’s equipment that was left in the area.

“There was $2.5 million worth of property there,” Petty said. “But it ended up looking a lot better than in sounded. You can hardly tell there was a fire there now.”

As for who might be motivated to torch the area, “There’s not anyone that I know of who would want to do that,” Petty said. “There’s just a lot of kids who walk up and down in the area.”

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