Posted at 11 a.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County and the entire Washington Metro area today, April 3, from noon until 8 p.m.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds (15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph), low relative humidity and warm temperatures may promote the rapid spread of outside fires/wildfires.
These conditions are ripe for an improperly discarded cigarette, thrown into mulch or other brush, to spark a significant fire that can then spread to homes and buildings. On March 31, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to 13 fires in mulch beds that were more than likely started by improperly discarded smoking materials.
So far in 2019, there have been nine significant fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the nine fires is approximately $914,963! All nine fires were totally preventable.
Sink It or Soak It
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department wants to help eliminate this totally preventable cause of fire and keep Fairfax County safe.
If you smoke, or know someone who does, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire outside.
- Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
- Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
This story originally appeared on the Fire and Rescue blog.
Update 10:40 a.m., April 2
Residents can call property management 24/7 at 703-379-4843 for updates.
Update 10:42 p.m.
Residents can text BAILEYSFIRE to 888777 for text message updates.
Posted 9 p.m.
The James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, is now open as a shelter for those who have been displaced by the transformer fire in Bailey’s Crossroads earlier today. Approximately 1,000 residents have been displaced.
Items to bring to the shelter include:
- A three-day supply of special items, especially for older adults, people with disabilities or infant members of your household.
- Special diet food, especially if you have food restrictions/allergies.
- Change of clothing.
- Pillows, if needed.
- Blankets and cots will be provided.
For the latest information:
- Emergency Information blog
- Fire and Rescue blog
- Fire and Rescue Twitter
- Text BAILEYSFIRE to 888777 for text message updates
Published at 2 p.m.
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management recently unveiled a new community preparedness guide, called the Community Emergency Response Guide.
In the video below, John Cook, chairman of the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee, outlines the guide, how to use it and where to find it.
The Community Emergency Response Guide (CERG) can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergencymanagement/cerg.
The Office of Emergency Management also offers community workshops to those who would like extra help in creating their emergency response plan. The request form can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergencymanagement/presentation-requests.
Posted at 11 a.m.
n the March 27 edition of the “Health and Safety” podcast, learn about the simple actions to take to save a life, Fairfax County’s new Community Emergency Response Guide, National Financial Capability Month, phone scams and active shooter resources.
Listen to the Podcast
Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
To listen to other Fairfax County podcasts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/podcasts.
Posted at 11 a.m.
The county’s Office of Emergency Management held a press conference yesterday, March 19, to announce a new emergency preparedness guide to encourage residents and businesses to take personal responsibility in preparing for and responding to emergencies and/or disasters within their community.
The guide — the Community Emergency Response Guide, or CERG — has templates to make it easier for residents to create their emergency plans and lays out what to do before, during and after 14 potentials risks in Fairfax County.
The guide is available online or can be viewed in hard copy at all county libraries and district supervisor’s offices, and includes templates that will help residents and business owners develop their emergency plans and community resiliency efforts.