Albemarle County developer faces two misdemeanors for 800-acre blaze


Local developer Alex Toomy has been charged with two misdemeanors after a brush fire swelled and burned 800 acres of Albemarle County land near the Ragged Mountain Farm subdivision. Toomy faces charges of burning before 4pm and carelessly damaging property by fire—a barn that contained a tent and a boat. The charges carry a possible $750 in fines; Toomy, who is slated for a March 28 appearance in court, told local media that he planned to contest the charges.

An e-mail from county spokesperson Lee Catlin says the Ragged Mountain fire "put over 40 homes and families at risk." Those homes happen to be located in Ragged Mountain Farm (map), where Toomy’s employer, MacMillan Pace Builders, is constructing homes.

Catlin asks county residents to mind high wind, low humidity days—conditions that might speed a brush fire’s spread. Local fire fighters, as well as support from surrounding counties and the Virginia Department of Forestry, took three days to quell the blaze.