Wythe Co. Residents: High Fire Danger, Fast Moving Cold Front

fire

Jeremy T.K. Farley — November 19, 2016

Wythe County’s emergency management team is encouraging local residents to be mindful of two separate potential dangers over the next few days.

The first item county citizens should be mindful of is a fast moving cold front that will bring a variety of weather concerns in its wake this weekend, while the second concern is a high fire danger rating which state forestry officials say have made “conditions ripe for wildfires that will start easily, grow quickly and be very difficult to contain.”

Wythe County officials are maintaining close communications with both the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Forestry in order to keep county residents informed of any new developments.

Weather Conditions in Wythe County – 

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg is tracking a fast moving cold front that will bring a variety of weather concerns in its wake this weekend. The front itself is expected to push through our area Saturday.

By Saturday evening and into the night winds will increase to levels that may result in some scattered downed trees or power lines.  Winds may possibly be more widespread along the tops of mountain ridges.

In addition to the strong and damaging winds, as very cold temperatures come in behind the front, upslope snow showers may result in a dusting of snow.

The wind and cold temperatures will result in wind chills into the single digits by early Sunday morning and some high elevation locations may see wind chill readings close to zero degrees. These very cold wind chills could occur again Sunday night as the winds continue.

Given this is the first real cold blast of air this season, and coming on the heels of mild weather, many residents may not be prepared for the frigid temperatures and wind chill readings. County residents are encouraged to check on their neighbors — especially the elderly and those with special needs.

High Fire Danger –

In addition to the frigid temperatures expected through the weekend, conditions in Wythe County remain ripe for wildfires.

Southwest Virginia remains under a wildfire warning and residents are encouraged to be extra vigilant throughout the weekend as the existing drought conditions make conditions ripe for wildfires that will start easily, grow quickly and be very difficult to contain.

The Virginia Dept. of Forestry has moved a dozen personnel and equipment resources out of central and eastern Virginia today in order to assist with ongoing wildfire activity in far Southwest Virginia.

As of this morning, there were no uncontrolled wildfires in our area, but potential for additional wildfires remain extremely high.

Burn bans remain in place in all of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest and Wythe County’s emergency team is asking local residents to abstain from burning throughout the duration of our present drought — especially when winds are high.

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