July 21, 2017

Be aware of fire risk from wind & dry conditions

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(Stock Photo)

A fire sparked by a downed power line on Poor Farm Road at Franklin Pike late Saturday night.  It spread quickly but Fire Department units from Stations 1,2 and 3 along with a forestry bulldozer worked through the night to contain it.

Lots of debris in the roads, including a trampoline at Check Elementary School.  Jasmine Robertson posted on Facebook that she found an American flag in the road with drivers running over it on U.S. 221 between Floyd and Willis early Sunday morning.  She retrieved and folded it and placed it behind a screen door at the closest house.

“It surely didn’t belong in the road under tires,” she posted.

Several early morning drivers Sunday reported large branches and other debris on the road.

The Southern Area Coordination Center reports many woodland fires in North Carolina and West Virginia and the National Weather Service posted a heavy wind and fire alert for Floyd County and surrounding areas.

From the NWS Roanoke/Blacksburg office:

… HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM EST THIS EVENING… * LOCATIONS… ALONG THE BLUE RIDGE FROM FLOYD COUNTY SOUTHWEST INTO THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS. * HAZARDS… DAMAGING WINDS. * WINDS… NORTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH. * WIND CHILLS… SINGLE DIGITS TO NEAR ZERO EARLY THIS MORNING. * TIMING… THROUGH TODAY WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS LIKELY THIS MORNING. * IMPACTS… DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES ARE POSSIBLE. DOWNED POWER LINES MAY SPARK FIRES THAT COULD SPREAD QUICKLY. HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES SHOULD USE CAUTION. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE POWER OUTAGES… FALLEN TREES… PROPERTY DAMAGE… AND DANGEROUS DRIVING CONDITIONS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. MOVE UNFASTENED ITEMS… SUCH AS GARBAGE CANS AND DECK FURNITURE… INDOORS.

… STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS THROUGH TODAY… .STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS WILL PERSIST TODAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL LIKELY OCCUR EARLY THIS MORNING AS MUCH COLDER AIR ARRIVES. AFTER A BRIEF DECREASE PRIOR TO MIDDAY… SPEEDS WILL INCREASE AGAIN DURING THE AFTERNOON.

Heavy winds are expected to continue through Sunday and into the evening.  The temperature at 7:15 a.m. was 28 with wind speeds over 25 miles-per-hour. Anyone who sees smoke or other evidence of a fire or problem should report it immediately.

Posts Dale Richardson Jr. of Floyd County’s Fire Department:

We can help by having mindful fire prevention. Some would never look outside if they lost electricity. Maybe the power line broke! Some throw a burning cigarette butt out their window while driving down the road. All this and more can start a fire. The fire spread quickly and the area is still under close watch by fire members.

Continuiing story.  We will monitor and update throughout the day.

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