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Monday, February 14, 2011

Wind+Dry Fuels+ Carelessness=Wildfires, lots of them!

More than a 1/3 of Virginia's counties have reported wildfires today and by the morning those numbers may be higher. Below is some info. I will post additional info in the morning.

Summary: Warm, dry air produced low relative humidity in the 15 to 25 percent range. The low relative humidity combined with 15-25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50 mph and low fuel moisture produced potential for explosive fire growth across the Commonwealth. High winds across the Commonwealth contributed to multiple power outages.

There are reports of multiple wildfires across areas of Southwest, West Central and South Central Virginia. At this time one wildfire is uncontained in Campbell County. A wildfire in Madison County is contained and has transitioned to urban fire suppression with multiple buildings threatened or involved.

Emergency Declarations:
§    Orange County
§    Madison County

Resource Requests:
§   Henrico County; 14 Feb. 2011; request 1 Forestry Bulldozer with operator

§    Madison County; reports 4 or more wildfires; all County fire apparatus doing fire suppression; mutual aid fire units assisting; several commercial buildings and some residential buildings evacuated  
§    Pittsylvania County; multiple wildfires; half of County fire apparatus doing fire suppression
§    Campbell County; 4 wildfires burning; five residential buildings evacuated
§    Orange County; 2 of 5 fire departments assisting surrounding counties

State Agencies:

Virginia Department of Forestry
§    50 plus wildfires across Commonwealth; majority contained
§    24 counties reported wildfires of various size
§    Forestry Command Center in Charlottesville staffed and operational

Virginia Department of Fire Programs
§    ESF 4 personnel staffing VEOC

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