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Virginia sees abnormally dry fall, prime conditions for fire

VA drought 12-20-21
VA drought 12-20-21(WDBJ)
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:42 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Nearly every locality in the Commonwealth is categorized as somewhere from “abnormally dry” to “severe drought” because of the lack of rain this fall.

Because of these conditions, fire danger remains high throughout the state. With a lack of moisture in the soil and dry leaves on the ground, fire officials say even old ashes could cause a fire if dumped outside.

“Even if those ashes have been in your fireplace or in your woodstove for a couple weeks now, there could still be embers buried under there that, especially if the wind kicks it up, if you just dump them outside, the wind can kick it up, and then the wind can cause a fire,” explains Brian Clingenpeel, community outreach coordinator for Roanoke County Fire and Rescue.

Heading into the first day of winter Tuesday, for many areas, this is fall is in the top 10 driest on record.

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