A large brush fire was triggered by Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s New Year’s Eve firework show on Sunday evening around 9:20pm.
According to park communications manager Ron Vample, the fire was extinguished within 15 minutes of its ignition.
The extent of the damage to the Rhine River Trestle and surrounding areas is still being assessed by the park as of early Monday afternoon.
The following map depicts our rough approximation of the impacted areas. We will refine it further as more information comes to light.
Pictures from the first moments of the fire on the Rhine River Trestle can be found below. Full photo credit goes to Dani Reese Nixon who originally posted these images to her Facebook page.
The fire then spread to the heavily wooded embankment between the Rhine River and Festhaus Park. Pictures of the resulting brush fire, posted originally
by G-No Jaxon
on Facebook, can be found below.
Lastly, we have a picture of what appears to be a close-up look at the blaze which was originally posted by a Facebook user to the park’s official page. The image has since been deleted so, for the time being, we are presenting the image below without crediting the source. We have reached out to the Facebook user in question to learn more.
According to the park’s statement to BGWFans, the blaze was extinguished by the James City County Fire Department which is required to be on-site to oversee all Busch Gardens Williamsburg firework displays. After the fire was contained, the park resumed normal operation for the remainder of the night.
Vample further confirmed that park operations are expected to continue unimpeded on New Year’s Day (Monday). When asked specifically about the current status of the Busch Gardens Railroad, he shared that a park operations official had confirmed the railroad would be closed on January 1st. Reportedly, this was due to extremely cold temperatures and not the fire which took place the night before.
This article will be updated as we learn more about the New Year’s Eve fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Any updates made to this post will be noted on our Twitter account
If you were at the park on Sunday and would like to share your experience or pictures, please contact us here
or via our Facebook page, here
Thanks to WAVY News reporter Brandi Cummings
for staying on top of the story as it happened. Additionally, thanks to Luke
from the ParkFans Forum for notifying us about the event so quickly and posting
it to the forum.