DICKENSON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A longtime first responder and the chief of Haysi’s volunteer fire department passed away while fighting a wildfire, according to local law enforcement and state officials.
According to Dickenson County Sheriff Jeremy Fleming, Chief Rocky Wood passed away in the Hurley area after an ATV accident on the job. A Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) press release confirmed that Wood was also an employee of the agency and was fighting a blaze at the time of his death.
“Today our hearts are broken as we send our sincere condolences to Rocky’s family, friends and fellow colleagues during this difficult time,” said State Forester Rob Farrell.
According to the release, Wood was working to contain a 15-acre wildfire along Lester’s Fork Road in Buchanan County around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The exact conditions surrounding the accident are still under investigation by the VDOF and Virginia Department of Fire Programs.”
Wood had served with VDOF for seven years at the time of the incident. Before joining the agency as a forest technician in 2016, Wood worked as a part-time wildland firefighter and as an employee of the Virginia Department of Corrections. According to a Facebook post from the Town of Haysi, Wood also served as the local Vice-Mayor.
VDOF officials said Thursday night’s fire was contained as of Friday morning.
This is a developing story. Stay with News Channel 11 online and on-air for updates.