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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fire Weather Watch for Sunday - Safety/Prevention Tips Included



MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Dry conditions with low humidity combined with a forecast of high winds has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a "Fire Weather Watch" for Prince George's County for Sunday. This warning means that everyone should be aware of the potential of outside fires with a rapid spread.  Large amounts of leaves are capable of providing plenty of fuel for a fire.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
FIRE WEATHER WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY MORNING
THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON.


* HUMIDITY...LESS THAN 25 PERCENT.
* WINDS...NORTHWEST 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.
* FUEL MOISTURE...LESS THAN 10 PERCENT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE
RED FLAG WARNINGS.


The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department suggest the following safety actions to avoid starting an accidental fire.

* Dispose of smoking materials in an appropriate container and ensure they are completely extinguished. Do not discard these items into any open area as they may start a fire that will spread rapidly. Do not dispose of smoking materials out of your vehicle when traveling.
* Use caution when using power tools outdoors, especially those that will generate a spark.  Have a extinguishing agent; water hose, bucket of sand, portable extinguisher, etc. nearby while working outdoors.
* Business owners and property managers should have appropriate disposable containers in areas where smoking occurs outside.
* Burning brush or trash is illegal within Prince George's County without appropriate approval and permits.  If the Fire Weather Watch is upgraded to a Red Flag Warning then any permitted burns may be cancelled.
* We request that you limit the use outside grills or cooking equipment during these times. If you must, ensure you have some type of extinguishing agent nearby (water hose, bucket of sand, fire extinguisher, etc.)  Stand by for Red Flag Warning when we recommend all outdoor cooking be terminated.
* If you have fireplace ashes; you must put them into a sealed metal container placed on a concrete surface away from any structures. If possible – wait to clean your fireplace until this weather event is over.
* Never park your vehicle on top of a pile a leaves.  
* Use common sense and practice sound fire safety habits.

WEEKEND MEDIA ADVISORY - Branchville Volunteers Provide to Families in Need

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, PGFD Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Prince George's County Fire/EMS Station #811, will continue their annual tradition of "Giving" during this thankful time of year.  The Branchville Volunteers will depart their station in College Park to deliver up to 8 Thanksgiving Food Baskets to pre-identified families within their response area.

Branchville worked with the County Public Schools to identify families that could use some assistance to ensure a festive family dinner on Thanksgiving.

Items in the food baskets were purchased entirely by the Branchville Volunteers.

The Branchville engine will depart the Station, located at 4905 Branchville Road in College Park, at 1:30 pm on Sunday, November 24.  The first house they will visit is in the 5000 block of Mineola Road.  The family has approved media participation at this event and will be available for interviews and photo ops.  Media may visit the fire station first for interviews with the volunteers and are invited to ride on-board their engine that will be loaded for other visits throughout the afternoon.  Media may also meet the volunteers on Mineola Road with an anticipated arrival time of 1:45 pm.  Any media riding on-board the engine will be dropped off back at the station prior to the second visit.

For additional information about this annual effort and the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, contact; Spiro Dimakas at 301-883-7711.  Please remember that families have already been pre-identified and no additional food baskets are currently available.