“Something that big you don’t put out,” Reid said.
Access to the fire was the biggest challenge early on as some firefighters walked into the rugged, mountainous terrain for 90 minutes to 2 hours on Saturday and still hadn’t reached the fire, Reid said.
“We really only got one crew into it yesterday because it was a matter of walking,” Reid said Sunday morning.
After DNR had a Maryland State Police helicopter fly over the site, it was determined Saturday night the fire was not in danger of reaching any houses or populated areas so crews were pulled out for the night, officials said.
Some firefighters had trouble finding their way out in the dark Saturday night, Reid said. They were not in danger from the fire, but they got sidetracked as it was dark and the terrain is rugged, he said.
A Washington County 911 supervisor said some state forestry workers spent Saturday night near the fire scene to monitor the situation.
On Sunday morning, firefighters and Forest Service officials used a bulldozer to clear fallen trees from an previously existing access road so they could get to the fire, Lillard said.
DNR officials will investigate the cause of the fire, which was not known Sunday.
The wildlife management area is used by hikers and hunters. Saturday was the opening day of deer season for hunters using firearms, Lillard said.
DNR usually prepares for fires on opening day as there are usually more fires on opening day, Lillard said. Some fires have been caused in the past by hunters who were smoking or who built warming fires that later got out of control, Lillard said.
Washington County Emergency Services received numerous calls Saturday afternoon from people on both sides of the mountain who could see smoke, a 911 supervisor said.
The initial call for the fire came in at 12:53 p.m. Saturday, the 911 supervisor said. Calls were received from Funkhouser Road, Indian Springs Road and Orchard Ridge Road areas as people reported seeing smoke, he said.
Firefighters from Washington County; Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; and Morgan County in West Virginia; responded to the fire call on Saturday, the 911 supervisor said.
Area resident Jason Reed said he was unloading feed around 12:50 p.m. Saturday when he saw the smoke and reported it via a nonemergency phone line.
Reed said he wasn’t concerned for his property.
“There’s a whole lot of stuff between me and the fire,” he said.