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National Weather Service puts wide swath of Virginia under a Fire Weather Watch

Chris Graham

fire weather watchThe National Weather Service has put a wide area of the Shenandoah Valley and Central and Northern Virginia under a Fire Weather Watch in effect for Saturday.

The forecast includes potential for sustained winds between 10 and 20 mph with gusts approaching 30 mph and low humidity, creating conditions ripe for the quick spread of wildfires, given the worsening drought conditions across much of Virginia.

Situations like the fire on Afton Mountain sparked on Thursday by a car fire on Interstate 64 at the 100 mile marker that spread to nearby brush could be particular dangers with the wind forecasts for Saturday where they are.

That 20-acre fire, which has been given the name Royal Orchard Fire, is now 10 percent contained, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Per the National Park Service, the Royal Orchard Fire has closed Skyline Drive from Rockfish Gap north to the Loft Mountain Area.

The Appalachian Trail from Rockfish Gap to Jarman Gap (mile 96.8) is also closed.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].