Here’s where wildfires are burning across the southern US

Wildfires fueled by drought, higher-than-normal temperatures and, in a few cases, possibly arson, have been raging in several southern states for days. The threat prompted officials to implement a burn ban and stop issuing safe burning permits.

November is the peak month of the fire season across the country, but certain areas, including parts of the southeast, are expected to be at “above normal” risk. according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Mississippi, for example, was one of the eight states who reported large fires to the National Fire Service on Friday. Some of them are drought and below normal rainfall contributing factorsstates the center.

While the fires in Mississippi are largely contained, firefighters in Virginia and elsewhere are still working to extinguish large swaths of their territories.

“The fire season in the South is increasingly becoming a fire year,” said Shayne Martin, national spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. “Fires have been burning longer, hotter and causing more destruction in recent years.”

Mr Martin said wildfires in the South were particularly alarming because the region had “three of the top four states with the most homes near wildlands, creating a greater risk to human health and property”.

Extremely dry conditions and high winds fueled wildfires in Virginia, prompting Gov. Glenn Youngkin to issue a state of emergency which went into effect on Monday and was supposed to remain active for 30 days.

Gov. Youngkin said officials are particularly concerned about two fires, the Quaker Run Fire in Madison County and the Tuggles Gap Fire in Patrick County.

The Quaker Run fire had burned about 2,800 acres of private, state and federal lands by Tuesday morning, according to the National Park Service. About 670 of those acres were in Shenandoah National Park, where officials have imposed a burn ban, effective from Tuesday. Virginia National Guard sent two Black Hawk helicopters to pour water on the fire.

Two houses and an outbuilding were destroyed Poplar Drive fire in Henderson County, which extended to more than 400 hectares of 175 ares from Saturday. As of Monday, the fire was only 5 percent contained, and officials are still investigating the cause.

Two other fires remain active in the state, officials said: the Collett Ridge Fire in Cherokee County and the East Fork Fire in Jackson County.

Officials have banned all outdoor burning in North Carolina and burning permits were canceled in 14 counties in the western part of the state due to the danger of forest fires due to severe drought.

“As dry conditions are expected to continue, this burn ban is necessary to reduce the risk of wildfires starting and spreading quickly,” said Steve Troxler, state agriculture commissioner. announcement on Sunday. “Our top priority is always to protect lives, property and forest land across the state.”

As of Tuesday, there were 61 active fires in Kentucky, burning about 8,800 acres, said John Mura, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Energy and Environment.

Many of the fires burned for several days but escalated over the weekend, Mura said. The fires are concentrated in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.

Six separate wildfires broke out over the weekend in southeastern Kentucky’s Harlan County. Dan Mosley, District Judge-Executive, declared a state of emergency. Officials said they suspect arson may have started fires in the area around the town of Smith; Other fires in the district are believed to have started after people tried to set fire to debris and those fires got out of control.

It is not known when the fires will be extinguished, but there is little chance of precipitation and cooler temperatures that could help later in the week, Mura said.

Officials were battling more than 30 wildfires that had burned more than 200 acres of privately owned forests in Tennessee as of Monday, according to the state Department of Forestry. At least seven fires were still active Tuesday, most of them in the central and western parts of the state, according to a map provided by Department of Forestry. A number of other fires are designated as contained or controlled, meaning that control lines have been placed around the fire.

The Forest Department has stopped issuing safety permits for waste burning in most districts, and officials issued a burning ban on Monday in Morgan County, which is located in the eastern part of the state.

The drought fueled the fires, and officials said rain was expected to return later in the week, with at least half an inch of rain in the central part of the state.

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