- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MENDOTA, Va. (AP) - Virginia is one of several southern states battling forest fires caused by humans and fueled by drought.

Ed Stoots of Virginia’s Forestry Department said Wednesday that crews have fought up to 20 blazes in more than a week. About 1,500 acres have burned in several counties in southwestern Virginia.

The biggest blaze is in the area of Mendota in Washington County. That fire is about 75 percent contained and covers more than 800 acres.

Stoots said crews have been able to protect up to 60 homes. But he said the weekend’s forecast of low humidity and higher winds could make matters worse.

He said investigators are probing each blaze, all of which people caused intentionally or accidentally. Rewards of $2,000 are being offered for information on two of the fires.

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