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Several fires keep Tri-State companies busy Friday and Saturday

Dry warm weather, strong winds combine to create 'explosive fire growth potential'

February 19, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

More than 30 acres of land and three vacant structures burned Friday night in a Morgan County, W.Va. brush fire, a Morgan County emergency dispatcher said.

The fire was one of several that kept Tri-State fire companies busy Friday night and Saturday as strong winds and dry, warm weather combined to create what the National Weather Service called "explosive fire growth potential."

The Morgan County fire was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 17000 block of Cacapon Road, or W.Va. 9, in the Largent area, south of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., the dispatcher said.

That fire took about three hours to contain and was put out by about 4 a.m., the dispatcher said.

Firefighters returned to the scene of the fire at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday when the fire reignited, he said.

The Paw Paw (W.Va.) Volunteer Fire Co. was the lead company fighting that fire, the dispatcher said.

"We had everybody from Hagerstown west on it," he said.

Saturday afternoon, firefighters in Pennsylvania battled a house fire at 930 Swamp Fox Road near Marion, Pa., a Franklin County emergency dispatcher said. That fire was reported at shortly after 3 p.m., the dispatcher said.

Washington County fire companies assisted with a house trailer fire at 10936 Old Frederick Road, south of Thurmont in Frederick County, dispatchers said. That fire was reported at about 12:20 p.m., a Frederick County dispatcher said.

In Franklin County, Pa., firefighters responded to an outbuilding on fire at 11343 Loop Road in Guilford Township, a Franklin County dispatcher said. That was reported at about 2:15 p.m., the dispatcher said.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning at 8:40 a.m. Saturday that included Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland, and Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia, among others.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring or will occur shortly.

The National Weather Service warned of winds between 25 and 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, and humidity dropping to between 15 and 25 percent.

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