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Fire Scorches Caribbean Grill on Lee Highway

A fire on the eve of Thanksgiving has damaged well-known local restaurant Caribbean Grill.

The fire broke out around 11 p.m. inside the restaurant at 5183 Lee Highway, according to fire officials. It was “caused by hot coals that fell out of [a] grill on to combustibles nearby.”

A large fire response was dispatched, but the fire was quickly extinguished and only minor damage — including smoke damage — was reported. No one was injured. The restaurant filled with smoke and firefighters remained on scene to ventilate the structure afterward.

Wednesday night was a busy night for the Arlington County Fire Department. Around 7 p.m. last night, firefighters battled a brush fire in the woods on the 3000 block of N. Quincy Street, in the Dover Crystal neighborhood.

A fire department spokesman estimated that the fire, which was extinguished without incident, scorched about 400 square feet of woodlands.

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Here’s the Aftermath of Yesterday’s Four Mile Run Drive Brush Fire

(Updated on 5/17/17) A brush fire that burned for an hour yesterday between the Four Mile Run Drive access road and the W&OD Trail left a large, scorched scar on the hillside.

A passerby photographed the scene yesterday evening and said “you can still smell” the smoke and fire, which was caused by a downed power line.

At least one vehicle appeared to be damaged during the incident.

Photos courtesy @bobco85

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BREAKING: Tree Down on Power Lines, Brush Fire Along Four Mile Run Drive

Update at 2:30 p.m. — The fire has been extinguished and Four Mile Run Drive is expected to reopen shortly. The access road is expected to remain closed until the fallen tree is removed.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Electricity has been shut off to the fallen power lines and firefighters are now working to extinguish the brush fire.

Earlier: A tree has fallen on power lines and sparked a growing brush fire along Four Mile Run Drive.

The incident was first reported by a passerby just after 1 p.m.

Initial reports suggest a large tree fell across the Four Mile Run Drive access road, striking a power line. That sparked a brush fire in the dry grass below, which as of 1:20 p.m. continues to burn.

The fire department cannot extinguish the wildfire around the power line until Dominion Power crews arrive and shut off the power, according to scanner traffic. As of 1:40 p.m. the flames were nearing vehicles parked along the access road.

Residents should expect “a lot of smoke in the area,” according to a police officer on scene. Police have shut down traffic in both directions on the access road near S. Wakefield Street and are preparing to shut down the mainline Four Mile Run Drive.

Photo courtesy Alex Chamandy, John Chandler

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Morning Notes

Red leaves and a bicycle (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Windy, Dry Conditions = Fire Danger — The National Weather Service is warning of an elevated fire danger today due to windy conditions, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, combined with dry vegetation. [Weather Channel]

Tree Fire in South Arlington — In what was likely a wind-fueled fire, several trees caught fire Saturday evening on the 600 block of 29th Street S., near Crystal City. Firefighters from Arlington and Alexandria were able to bring the fire under control within 10-15 minutes. [Twitter, Twitter]

Career Center Mannequin Challenge — The Arlington Career Center has produced a mannequin challenge video, highlighting the various skills taught at the center. [Vimeo]

Opinion Piece: Think Bigger Than Bus Parking — An op-ed published in the Washington Post criticizes the possible school bus facility proposed for land that the county is acquiring across from Washington-Lee High School, next to I-66. “This is not a NIMBY issue,” writes the author, a nearby resident. “But before taking the path of least resistance and plopping a bus garage into a residential neighborhood, Arlington should carefully consider its options and ‘think big.'” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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UPDATED: Brush Fire in Crystal City

Arlington County firefighters are responding to a brush fire in Crystal City.

The smoky fire broke out in the median along Route 1, near the 23rd Street intersection.

Police and an Alexandria medic unit are on scene, attempting to use a fire extinguisher to control the blaze.

Update at 3:05 p.m. — The fire is reported to be out.

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Morning Notes

Spring in bloom in Rosslyn

Metro Delays This Morning — Metro is experiencing big delays on the Blue and Orange lines after reports that a teenage girl intentionally jumped onto the tracks at the Eastern Market station. The Blue and Orange line is single-tracking between Eastern Market and Federal Center, while the Silver Line is only operating between Wiehle-Reston and Ballston. [Hill Now, Twitter, Twitter]

Gondola Feasibility Study Gets Eight Responses — Eight firms have responded to a Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study of a Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola system. The team for the study is expected to be chosen in about a month. The study is expected to be complete by the end of the year. [UrbanTurf]

Fire Danger Today — There’s an enhanced threat of brush fires today, even in Arlington. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area as low humidity and gusty winds combine for a significant fire danger. “Any fires will have the potential to spread very rapidly,” NWS says. [National Weather Service]

Parking Lots Crowded at DCA — Spring break and the Easter weekend are combining for a busy week and crowded parking lots at Reagan National Airport. As of this morning, the airport’s 2,613-space economy lot is full and there are only a few hundred spaces left in the 5,223-space Terminal B/C garages. [Twitter, Fly Reagan]

AYD Date Auction Next Week — The Arlington Young Democrats will hold their 15th annual charity date auction this coming Tuesday. Eligible bachelors and bachelorettes — along with face time with prominent elected officials — will be auctioned off to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center. [Arlington Young Dems]

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Fire Dept. Investigating Grass Fire in Front of School

The Arlington County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a grass fire that ignited in front of an elementary school Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. and scorched a 20 by 40 foot area in front of Drew Model School (3500 23rd Street S.) in the Nauck neighborhood, according to fire department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani. Witnesses told authorities that the fire was sparked by individuals who were setting off fireworks, though no fireworks were found by investigators.

“The fire is still under investigation,” Marchegiani said. The blaze caused “minimal damage.”

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Brush Fire Along I-395 Near the Pentagon

 

Smoke could be seen near the Pentagon this afternoon due to a brush fire.

The fire and the resulting smoke was seen in the median near the southbound I-395/Route 1 split.

Arlington County firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly extinguished the fire, but not before it scorched some dry brush in the median. Two lanes of southbound I-395 are currently blocked by the fire department activity.

Update at 4:10 p.m. — An accident with two injuries was reported in the same area at the time of the brush fire. It’s unclear if the two incidents are related.

Update at 4:50 p.m. — The scene has been cleared. All lanes are open.

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Abnormally Dry Weather, Cigarettes Create Fire Danger

The warm, abnormally dry weather may be enjoyable for many people trying to partake in outdoor activities, but it’s causing a headache for firefighters.

Due to our area being about four inches below normal in rainfall for the year, more small fires have been sparking. Arlington County Fire Department Captain Gregg Karl said the county isn’t experiencing as many brush fires as some neighboring areas, but there have actually been a lot of mulch fires in the past few weeks.

According to Karl, most of the trouble has been with smokers trying to extinguish their cigarettes in plant boxes or areas with mulch. In many cases, the cigarettes smolder on the extremely dry, flammable material and then start a fire. Even drivers throwing cigarettes out of car windows has been causing trouble, because there’s mulch on many of the street medians in Arlington. Smokers are reminded to make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished, and to only use approved receptacles to dispose of them.

Even if we get some rain this weekend, it likely won’t be enough to alleviate the elevated fire danger.

“Unless we were to get a good, long, soaking rain, the fire danger will remain,” Karl said. “We need a persistent rain for a few days to get our levels where they need to be.”

Karl said some residents hear about red flag warnings and have questions about open burn restrictions. However, open burns of items such as yard clippings and debris are never allowed in Arlington, per the county code.

Another thing that goes hand in hand with warm weather is grilling, which can be a hazard as well. Anyone using a charcoal grill is reminded to use extra caution with the coals.

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High Winds Knock Over Trees, Cause Power Outages

High winds are causing problems in the area. On an otherwise beautiful, sunny day, more than 1,000 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington as of 4:30 p.m.

On Dittmar Road in North Arlington, two large trees were felled by the wind, bringing down a mess of telephone poles, live power lines and communication cables. The area is expected to be without power for an extended period of time. Stretched-thin Dominion Power repair crews have yet to arrive on scene.

Elsewhere, dry conditions are combining with the high winds to present a fire danger. At least half a dozen grass, mulch and brush fires have been reported to the Arlington County Fire Department throughout the day.

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Small Brush Fire in Courthouse

Firefighters put out a small brush fire in Courthouse this afternoon. A pile of fallen leaves and branches caught fire near a power substation at the Woodbury Park apartments. The flames were quickly extinguished.

It’s not clear how the fire started, although Dominion Power was evaluating the substation following the fire.

The photo above was taken shortly after the incident, as firefighters were apparently refilling their engine with water from a hydrant.

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Dry, Windy Day Brings Fire Danger

It’s a beautiful day, and it’s only getting better as the temperature heats up into the low 80s. But along with the warm temperatures and the low, spring-time humidity, gusty winds are expected, and that could present a dangerous combination.

The National Weather Service has, believe it or not, issued a wildfire warning for the area this afternoon. Although we live in an urban area, there’s still the danger that small brush fires can pop up on days like this. Typically, those are confined to small, self-extinguishing blazes that start in highway medians or next to dry athletic fields — wide open spaces with lots of dry grass and other kindling — but it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant about where you flick your cigarette today.

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