State of emergency declared due to threat of wildfires
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Commonwealth of Virginia is now under a state of emergency.
Governor Glenn Youngkin issued the declaration Tuesday morning due to the existing or potential for wildfires.
This includes the Quaker Run Road fire in Madison County and the Tuggles Gap Fire in Patrick County.
So far, the Quaker Run Fire has burned some 2,800 acres, including more than 670 acres within the Shenandoah National Park.
The Virginia Department of Forestry reports the Tuggles Gap fire has burned about 500 acres.
According to a release, Virginia is experiencing multiple fires due to extremely dry conditions and high winds, both of which are common during the fall wildfire season.
Per the most recent information available from the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost all of this area is under moderate or severe drought conditions.
The region is more than 15 inches behind on annual average rainfall.
Wildfires may pose a threat to public health and safety, including the two named above, both of which have broken through containment lines in recent days.
Because of this, Youngkin’s declaration activates additional resources to help contain the fires and respond to any others that may spark.
Such resources may include the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
State and local government agencies are ordered to provide assistance to prepare for a disaster and to alleviate any conditions that may result from one so that any areas impacted by a wildfire can return to their pre-event conditions as quickly as possible.
The release says this year's fall wildfire season is considered a normal one, but the underlying drought conditions have made the various fires that have occurred more challenging to contain.
So far this year, there have been 500 wildfires in the Commonwealth.