Winter may still have New England coastal states in its icy
grip, but farther south, the problem of the season isnt ice its
fire. From Virginia down to Florida and around the Gulf to
Texas, fire officials are battling spot brush fires and grass
fires that seem to crop up as fast as the firefighters can put
Virginia Department of Forestry official Fred Turck told the
Richmond Times-Dispatch, We are only two weeks into the fire
season, and we are already very busy, according to the papers
Near-record wildfires hit Virginia
, by Rex Springston).
More than 4,500 acres of land in the state have been scorched
between Saturday, February 20, and Tuesday, February 22, the
paper reported. Monday was the second-worst fire day on record
in the state, and fire officials said 45 homes or other
structures had been damaged or destroyed since Saturday.
Firefighters had arrived in time to save 700 buildings, the
state fire agency said.
Virginias Department of Forestry maintains an information
website about wildfire
), which includes a one-page visual guide to
fire-resistant landscaping around homes sited in wooded areas
Landscaping for Woodland Homes
Fires also raged across the Carolinas, reported the
Charlotte Observer on Tuesday
Fire threat continues, but winds calmer
, by Steve Lyttle).
Conditions are especially dangerous along the coast in both
Carolinas, where winds averaged 15 to 20 mph Monday with gusts
of more than 30 mph, the paper reported. Fire crews in North
Carolina were contending on Sunday with more than 100 different
fires, adding up to more than 2,500 acres, the paper reported;
South Carolina had seen 445 wildfires in February, the state
Forestry Commission said.
In Florida, parts of Interstate 75 were closed when a
controlled burn got out of hand, creating smoke that reduced
visibility on the road to unsafe levels, the Bradenton Herald
Interstate 75 in N. Manatee reopened after smoke from wildfire
, by Richard Dymond). Year to date, according to the
Department of Forestry
, Florida has seen 824 fires, with
12,785 acres burned.