06/29/2012 08:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Virginia Wildfires 2012: Smoke From Shenandoah, Massanutten Blazes Drifts Toward D.C.

WASHINGTON -- Smoke from two wildfires in Virginia has been drifting toward the nation's capital and into its suburbs as the blazes continue to burn in Shenandoah National Park and an adjacent national forest.

As The Washington Times reported:

By 6 p.m. Thursday, the Point 2 Wildfire in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests was about 353 acres, and only 5 percent contained, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture Forest Service. It is located on Massanutten Mountain between Sherman Gap and Veach Gap, spanning both Shenandoah and Warren Counties. It was first detected on Monday.

WJLA-TV/ABC7 reports people across Northern Virginia and even in Maryland's Montgomery County called authorities reporting smelling smoke.

Although the fires are currently limited to national park or forest land and have not affected homes or businesses, the fires are expected to grow and residents nearby have been advised to monitor the situation.

According to InciWeb's outlook on the Point 2 Wildland Fire on Massanutten Mountain near Front Royal and Bentonville:

Firefighters will continue to construct and hold control lines with bulldozers and hand tools. They will conduct burnout operations to strengthen these lines. The helicopter will assist in line construction and maintenance by using water drops to slow down the fire spread. The public can expect to see smoke today as burnout operations continue. The fire will continue to grow on its own due to hot dry weather and dry soil conditions.

According to WRC-TV/NBC4, the National Forest Service is hoping for more favorable weather conditions: "We need all the water we can get," said Stephanie Bushong of the U.S. Forest Service. "Actually, we need Mother Nature to help. We need rain."



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