Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): The weather this weekend helped firefighters get more of a handle on the Steep Valley Fire.
The underlying theme of how the weather has impacted the number of acres burned is that a warmer pattern in the 60s and 70s with occasional gusts of 15-22 mph helped it spread. The rain on Friday followed by the more seasonable weekend trend with light wind helped the fire expand fewer acres than the warm, dry pattern earlier in the week.
A Fire Weather Watch and Red Flag Warning were not in effect when the fire was discovered or during its spread earlier in the week. This chain of events goes to prove that even when these alerts are not in place, it’s important to be mindful of potential brush fire activity.
Firefighters have contained (NOT put out) 50-percent of the fire and a grand total of 1,946 acres have burned since it was discovered on Monday, November 6. A cause has yet to be determined.
Brush fire ignition typically occurs from the following: lightning, sparks from train cars or engines, failing utility equipment, escaped controlled burns, campfires, cigarettes, arson, idling cars and dragging chains.
Smoke reports are now being released by the park service for the expected air quality trends. This weekend, the air quality was in the GOOD range, but will likely deteriorate to MODERATE early next week with a warmer, dry pattern expected.