By Jesse Wood
Feb. 27, 2014. With the lack of precipitation recently, low humidity and wind advisory that is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday, a fire weather-planning forecast with the National Weather Service notes that “near critical fire weather conditions” exist today.
Yesterday, the N.C. Forest Service issued a Readiness Plan 3, which indicates the potential for moderate fire activity, but this morning that was upgraded to Readiness Plan 4, which indicates normal fire season activity. The alert also relayed to local governments and responders that aviation, heavy equipment and personnel are available.
On Thursday morning, Watauga County Fire Marshal Steve Sudderth noted the high winds and relatively low humidity below 20 percent in an announcement about the increased fire danger.
Sudderth advised, “If you are disposing wood stove or fireplace ashes be sure to do so in a safe manner and that they are extinguished before disposal. Though there is no burning ban it would be a good idea to wait for safer conditions before burning outside brush.”
Sudderth also direct questions and concerns to the N.C. Forest Service, the local Watauga County Fire Department at 828-265-5375 or the Watauga County Fire Marshal’s office at 828-264-4235.