Welcome Rains to Squash Fires


Rains to Quell Brush Fire Risk
Several dozen brush fires ignited in the Indian Summer warm and windy conditions this weekend and persisted into Monday.
After battling the blazes, two of which were greater than 350 acres, foresters told me late on Monday that most of the fires were under control.
The Morris Fork of Blue Creek fire near Pinch in Kanawha County had a dozer line surrounding it as of Monday evening. This meant it would not spread any farther and rains would have a chance to complete the job of dousing the blaze on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Near Bandytown in Boone County, a 400 acre fire was burning last night. This is a coal seam fire (which means an underground coal fire that simmers perpetually has breached the ground). This fire may have to wait until Tuesday night’s rains arrive to be put out since Tuesday pre-dawn and morning rains were to be lighter points south through the Coalfields..
In Eastern Kentucky, Tad Norris from the Betsy Lane district forestry department told me that a few fires on the Martin-Johnson line were active though contained late Monday.
As for the rains, two waves of water should deposit a general 1”-2” area-wide by midday Wednesday with localized 3” amounts. Given how dry the first half of November has been, these numbers would represent as much as 75% of the normal November rainfall in just 2 days.
Tuesday will dawn grey and damp and stay that way, though the overnight heavy rains that fall north of I-64 should create only some nuisance street flooding.
Tuesday’s daylight hour rains will be light and manageable. Then Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, steady, soaking and heavier rains will arrive this time especially south. This second wave of rain is likely to muster more widespread street flooding than its Tuesday morning counterpart.
Add it up and the rains have come just in time to set up our forests for the Thanksgiving week.
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