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Risk of wildfires elevated today in D.C. area, National Weather Service warns

Above-average temperatures for April are forecast for the D.C. today (via NWS/Twitter)

Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area should be on alert for potential outdoor fire hazards today (Wednesday), the National Weather Service says.

A combination of wind gusts and dry weather has created an “elevated threat” of wildfires throughout the region until the early evening, according to a special weather statement issued just after 9 a.m.

From the alert, which will be in effect until 8 p.m.:

…ELEVATED THREAT FOR THE SPREAD OF WILDFIRES THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING…

West to northwest winds of 10 to 15 mph are expected with gusts around 20 to 25 mph through this afternoon and relative humidity values will fall to between 20 and 30 percent. Given recent dry weather, fuels are very dry. Therefore, an elevated fire danger will continue until about 8 PM before the winds gradually weaken and humidity rises.

Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged during this time. Please refer to your local burn permitting authority on whether you can burn. If you do burn, use extreme caution and ensure fire suppression is readily available.

Some areas of Northern Virginia further to the west are under a Red Flag Warning.

The fire risk comes as temperatures are expected to reach the low 80s, which is well above average for April, according to the weather service.

That warmer-than-average trend is projected to continue into tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday (April 14), the Capital Weather Gang forecasts, stating that the next couple of days could feel like early summer.

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