Updated at 9:40 a.m. — The earlier watch has been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning. From the National Weather Service:
…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR VIRGINIA, SOUTHERN MARYLAND, AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLE…
The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has issued a Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and low humidity, which is in effect from noon today to 8 PM EDT this evening.
* WINDS…West 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 to 45 mph.
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…As low as 18 percent.
* IMPACTS…Critical fire weather conditions are expected through this evening. All outdoor burning is discouraged, as fires could rapidly spread and become uncontrollable.
* FUEL MOISTURE…Dropping to around 7 or 8 percent.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for most areas south of I-68/I-70 from noon until 8PM this evening. A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidity, & strong winds are expected to produce an increased risk of fire danger. For more, visit: https://t.co/5RyZgpfrqr. pic.twitter.com/bliRAqJlwv
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) April 18, 2023
Earlier: Arlington County, along with much of the D.C. area, will be under a Fire Weather Watch tomorrow.
Small brush fires are not uncommon in Arlington, though at no point in recent history has one threatened a home, as happened in D.C. last month.
Forecasters say Tuesday’s weather will be windy with low humidity — ideal for the spread of brush fires.
A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for a majority of the region Tuesday afternoon & evening. West winds gusting 30 to 40 mph combined with low minimum RH values will yield elevated fire weather concerns. Please avoid any burning during this time. #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx #DCwx pic.twitter.com/3bu0C5UzL6
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) April 17, 2023
Firefighters battled three separate brush fires along the GW Parkway during Monday evening’s commute.
The fires were first reported just before 6 p.m., and ultimately prompted a response of at least a half dozen units from the Arlington County, Montgomery County, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall fire departments.
“At approximately 5:50 p.m. the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center began receiving multiple calls for brush fires near the First Scenic Overlook extending north on GW Parkway,” said Taylor Blunt, Public Information Officer for the Arlington County Fire Department. “Our first unit arrived within four minutes and confirmed other fires to the north and requested additional units to the scene.”
Two of the brush fires were extinguished relatively quickly. The third was reported out around 6:45 p.m.
“At this stage, we do not know the cause of the fires,” Blunt said. “This incident serves as a reminder of the increased fire danger due to the recent dry and windy weather conditions. We again ask that everyone properly discard smoking materials and not have any open burns.”
A Red Flag Warning was in effect in Arlington and the region over the weekend, amid high winds and a lack of recent rainfall. Brush fires were reported in Loudoun County and Montgomery County on Sunday.
More on the GW Parkway fires, below, via social media.
Fire in brush and trees on east side of GW Parkway about mile north of 29 exit. Not pictured is @ArlingtonVaFD present and en route. No traffic jam seen northbound yet. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/Q4h4SDxWgJ
— Clarendon Nights (@clarendonnights) March 15, 2021
Report of multiple fires along the GW Parkway north of the Key Bridge. @ArlingtonVaFD on scene. @ARLnowDOTcom https://t.co/7Sm4JVTRZx
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) March 15, 2021
GW parkway by the scenic pull off is on fire. Two patches, but trucks only covering one so far. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/pJ5rMHO3Zp
— Critical Formulation (@bramblerambles) March 15, 2021
#Update Our initial units are working to extinguish the brush fires and have observed additional fires extending north on GW Parkway. Additional resources have been requested to the scene.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 15, 2021
#FinalUpdate All brush fires are now out. Units will be clearing NB GW Parkway shortly. Expect residual traffic delays. Our thanks to @FortMyerFire and @mcfrs for their assistance.
—#REMINDER – there is increased fire danger in the region due to low humidity and gusty winds.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 15, 2021
Screenshot via @bramblerambles/Twitter
Western Smoke Causing Hazy Skies — “The local National Weather Service office pointed out today in its technical discussion that the smoke is caught in the jet stream and moving overhead around 20,000 to 25,000 feet high. Smoke from the historic fires out West now covers much of the country, and it is expected to continue to be an issue in the days ahead.” [Washington Post, Twitter]
Board Approves Road Project — “Arlington County Board members on Sept. 12 approved a contract worth up to $805,000 for improvements to the intersection of 18th Street North with North Glebe Road and North Wakefield Street, aimed at providing a better walking and biking experience for children and others headed to Glebe Elementary School.” [InsideNova. Arlington County]
Ret. Deputy Seeking Answer to 9/11 Mystery — “Nineteen years after the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon, a retired Arlington Sheriff’s deputy still doesn’t know if the badly injured man he pulled from the burning building survived. He doesn’t know his family or even his name — and Art Castellano still cries about it whenever something reminds him of that day. Now, WUSA9 is trying to help reunite the two men.” [WUSA 9]
Teacher Seeking Desk Donations — “Students across Northern Virginia are turning homes into classrooms, so Arlington art teacher Jeff Wilson decided to rally the community to help. Wilson posted a request online for people to donate their old desks to help students who are learning from home.” [WJLA]
Local Business Legend Dies — “Russell A. Hitt, who helped transform the family business into one of the nation’s largest and most successful general contracting firms, died Sunday at his Falls Church residence. The 85-year-old Arlington native is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joan; four children and 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, many of whom now work at Hitt Contracting Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]
No, the FBI Didn’t Conduct a Raid in Rosslyn — “The FBI’s Washington field office says it did not raid the home of Arlington conspiracy theorist Jack Burkman, despite a Washington Post story that apparently took Burkman’s word that his home had been tossed by federal agents.” [Washingtonian, Daily Beast, Washington Post]
If it looks, feels and smells like California during wildfire season outside — there’s a good explanation for why.
Amid sunny, warming weather, the air in Arlington has turned hazy with a distinct campfire smell. The smoke is coming from a controlled burn near Marine Corps Base Quantico, blown by prevailing winds over Arlington, D.C. and Fairfax County, among other D.C. area locales.
“The burn is expected to last 2 days,” noted Arlington County Police.
There have been reports of smoky conditions in both the southern and northern portions of the county.
ADVISORY ⚠️: The U.S. Forest Service is conducting a controlled burn of approximately 2,000 acres of land in the area of Quantico, VA. Due to shifting winds, you may notice an odor of burning or the presence of smoke outside. The burn is expected to last 2 days.@Arlingtonfire
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) March 8, 2020
Here are the current smokey conditions over Arlington County & Northwest DC. I've alerted @dcfireems about the Quantico burn. They're running a bunch of calls because of it. @ArlingtonVaFD @ARLnowDOTcom @ArlingtonVA @WTOPtraffic @WTOP @ffxfirerescue pic.twitter.com/9A51gjEEOZ
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) March 8, 2020
Marine Corps Base Quantico is conducting a controlled burn near the Stafford and Fauquier County Line. Due to current weather conditions, moderate to heavy smoke from this controlled burn is travelling in to Prince William County. https://t.co/suVPiB4gNa pic.twitter.com/926sueLq4B
— Prince William PD (@PWCPolice) March 8, 2020
Some seniors in the right place at the right time helped to stop a fire in Ballston.
A group of seniors from the Arlington Neighborhood Village program were playing their weekly bocce match Monday (Aug. 5) at the courts near the Ballston public parking garage when they noticed a distinctly smoky smell.
“All of us kept smelling smoke, but at first we couldn’t tell where it was coming from,” Gary Eiserman, one of the players on the green team, told ARLnow in an email. “Then I noticed smoke rising out of the bushes near the bocce courts.”
As the players approached, they poked around and saw smoke coming up through the mulch at the base of the bushes.
“We stomped on what embers we could find, then doused the area with water from one of our water bottles,” Eiserman said. “We figured the fire was out, and went back to the game, but shortly after that we smelled smoke and saw more smoke in the bushes. We didn’t have more water to put on the fire, and it was very close to a large transformer, so at that point we decided to call for help, telling them that it wasn’t an emergency, but someone should come and put it out.”
Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant said firefighters from Engine 102 were able to extinguish the smoldering fire with a fire extinguisher. Firefighters at the scene told the players that the dryness of the mulch meant it was a good thing the seniors called when they did, according to Eiserman.
“We were very impressed with the firefighters,” Helen Onufrak, one of the players on the red team, said. “It certainly added excitement to our weekly bocce game.”
The group posed for a photo with the firefighters, before the ACFD squad departed. The game then continued, with red team beating the green team 16 to 7.
While recounting the eventful bocce outing to ARLnow, Eiserman offered some headline ideas.
“I also have a couple of suggestions for titles: ‘Great Bocce Balls of Fire!'” Eiserman said, “or: ‘Bocce Ballers Battle Burning Bush, Blaze Beaten By Ballston’s Bravest.'”
Brush Fire in Park Near Columbia Pike — “Firefighters were called to Alcova Park a little after noon today to put out this small fire. No word on cause, but it’s an early season reminder to fully extinguish smoking & BBQ’ing materials before safely discarding them in a metal container & leaving the area.” [Twitter]
‘Walk for the Animals’ Tickets on Sale — “On Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., AWLA invites you to Walk for the Animals and celebrate our 75th anniversary of improving the lives of animals in our community… $35 Early Bird registration until May 1 (includes Walk registration and t-shirt)” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]
Traffic Enforcement in Clarendon — Arlington County Police conducted “high-visibility pedestrian enforcement at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Washington Boulevard as part of regional @COGStreetSmart campaign” yesterday afternoon. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Resident Wins Lottery — “An Arlington man is $100,000 richer after playing a Cash 5 game he purchased at a store in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood near Rosslyn recently.” [Patch]
Ebbin, Levine Endorse Parisa — State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) and Del. Mark Levine (D) have endorsed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Democratic candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. They join several other elected officials, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former County Board member Walter Tejada, in endorsing the challenger in the Democratic primary. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]
Stamos’ Recent Endorsements — Earlier this month Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos announced endorsements from Arlington’s firefighter union and county treasurer Carla de la Pava in her bid for reelection, in addition to a litany of endorsements from other elected and former elected officials. [Facebook, Facebook]
Nearby: Aldi Coming to Bailey’s Crossroads — An Aldi grocery store will reportedly be replacing the former Babies R Us store at 5700 Columbia Pike, while a nearby Safeway store is said to be closing. [Annandale Blog]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
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.
#Update: Units are finishing up smoke removal operations and will going back in service shortly. Expect road closures in the area for about the next 30min. pic.twitter.com/D7L7FdMuxs
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) November 23, 2017
A few more pics from tonight’s restaurant fire. No injuries. Fire Marshals are investigating. pic.twitter.com/EK2qXxyjBh
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) November 23, 2017
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.
(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.
1/2 photos of the aftermath of today's brush fire caused by tree hitting power lines near @WODTrail @BikeArlington @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/pyfIz03Wik
— Robert Svercl (@bobco85) May 15, 2017
@WODTrail @BikeArlington @ARLnowDOTcom 2/2 photos brush fire aftermath in #ArlingtonVA today – you can still smell it pic.twitter.com/DKH2NmkaAe
— Robert Svercl (@bobco85) May 15, 2017
Photos courtesy @bobco85
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
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
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.