Fairfax County’s First Snow of 2019 Expected This Weekend

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

It seems more certain that we’re in for our first snow of 2019 this weekend.

National Weather Service Snow Map January 2019

The National Weather Service forecast for Fairfax County is for 3-4 inches, with snow moving into the area most likely after 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Throughout Saturday we should see light snow with about ½” on the ground by nightfall. Temperatures tomorrow will be in the low to mid 30s with calm winds. As the evening progresses, we will begin to see a steadier snowfall with an additional 2-4” overnight. Temperatures will be in the upper 20s with a light wind of 5 mph.

On Sunday, snow continues and will taper off and move out of the area around  by 1 p.m. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 30s with winds of 5-8 mph. There  could be some additional snow showers later Sunday and into the evening, however, no additional accumulation is expected.

In anticipation of the snow, Courtney Arroyo from our Emergency Management Office says in this video that now is a good time to prepare.

Enjoy the first snowfall of the new year … and stay safe if you must venture out! And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call (or text) 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

Provide Feedback on Proposed UAS/Drone Program at Public Meetings During January

Fairfax County UAS public meetings

Posted at 11:55 a.m.

Fairfax County is developing a comprehensive Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program and would like to hear from our residents on what they think. We are hosting six public information meetings located throughout Fairfax County.

Each public information meeting will include a static display of unmanned aircraft followed by a presentation beginning at 7 p.m. outlining the program. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions from representatives of the Office of Emergency Management, County Attorney’s Office and Police and Fire and Rescue Department. .

To find out more about the UAS program go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/uas. The draft public safety UAS program manual is located there along with a form. You may also want to read the NewsCenter article that talks more about the program as well.

Please send your feedback or questions to uas@fairfaxcounty.gov or through the link located on the UAS webpage. Written comments on the draft program must be received by the close of business Feb. 8, 2019 to be included in the official public record.

Public Information Meeting Dates/Times

Jan. 14 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Mason District Governmental Center (Community Room)

6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale

Jan. 16 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
South County Governmental Center (Room 221C)
8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria

Jan. 23 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
McLean District Governmental Center
1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean

Jan. 24 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Sully District Governmental Center
4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly

Jan. 28 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Reston Community Center – Hunter Woods
2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston

Jan. 30 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Braddock Hall – Kings Park Library
9002 Burke Lake Road, Burke

Feb. 4 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Mason District Governmental Center (Community Room)
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale


Keep Safe This Holiday; Be Aware of Candles and Holiday Tree Fires

Posted at 12:35 p.m.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires, and the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve.

Be fire smart as you deck the halls for a festive holiday season with these tips.

  • Use battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, put them in stable holders and place them where they can’t be knocked over.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns. Never leave a burning candle alone.

Christmas Tree Fires

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires.

  • Water your Christmas trees every day. A dry tree can easily catch on fire.
  • Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents. Don’t let them block your exits.
  • Inspect your holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away strands with frayed or pinched wires. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Turn off all holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.

Learn more from the U.S. Fire Administration or the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Wind Advisory in Effect Until 4 p.m. Today (Nov. 28)

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory until 4 p.m. this afternoon, Wednesday, Nov. 28. A Wind Advisory means that winds of 45 to 55 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

The weather service reports westerly winds from 25-35 mph with gusts of 50-55 mph possible. These strong winds may blow down tree limbs, trees and power lines; scattered power outages are expected.

Wind Advisory Nov. 28, 2018

If you experience either downed trees or power lines, NewsCenter has details about who to contact. The Fire and Rescue blog has some great tips about downed power lines, what you should know and what you should do in case you encounter any downed electrical lines.

And please remember, if your power goes out this evening, please use battery powered lighting and not candles.

Fairfax Alerts

New Report Highlights Higher Residential Fire Risks During Winter Months

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

According to a new report from the U.S. Fire Administration, residential building fire incidence was collectively higher in the winter months of January, February and March, peaking in January at 11 percent. While winter residential building fires accounted for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., they resulted in 30 percent of all fire deaths and 23 percent of all fire injuries.

Each year during the 2014-2016 period, an estimated 108,200 winter residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States. These fires caused an estimated 980 deaths, 3,575 injuries and $1.9 billion in property loss.

According to the report.

  • cooking causes 40 percent of winter residential building firesAt 43 percent, cooking was the leading cause of winter residential building fires. Small, confined fires accounted for 90 percent of these cooking fires.
  • Winter residential building fires occurred most frequently in the early evening, peaking during the dinner hours from 5 to 8 p.m., when cooking fire incidence is high.
  • Nonconfined winter residential building fires most often started in cooking areas and kitchens (20 percent). The leading specific factor contributing to ignition in nonconfined winter residential building fires was a heat source too close to combustibles (16 percent).
  • In 51 percent of nonconfined winter residential building fires, the fire extended beyond the room of origin. The leading causes of these larger fires were unintentional or careless actions (19 percent), electrical malfunctions (14 percent), open flames (12 percent) and heating (9 percent).
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 22 percent of nonconfined winter fires in occupied residential buildings. Additionally, automatic extinguishing systems were present in only 4 percent of nonconfined winter fires in occupied residential buildings.

Learn more on the Fire Administration webpage; you can download the full report here.