Don’t burn! Wildfire threat continues, increases this weekend

The wildfire threat will get even higher Saturday as winds pick up and humidity drops

Photo of the Matts Creek Fire submitted to Pin It by Kimberley Mierzwa (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – The last time we had a soaking rain (half an inch to an inch in one day) was in September. That’s right - two months ago. With fallen leaves and an increasing fall breeze, we’ve tracked a number of wildfires.

The most recent one is the Matts Creek Fire on the Bedford County-Rockbridge County border.

Burn bans are in place, but at this point - it shouldn’t take a burn ban to prevent you from setting fires.

Here’s a video I posted to Twitter/X, explaining why we feel so strongly about this.

Smoke from the Matts Creek Fire spreads into Rockbridge County both Wednesday and Thursday, adding to possible air quality concerns. This is similar to what we saw in parts of Bedford County Tuesday.

Where smoke travels on Wednesday, 11/15/2023

WATCH: We’re working for you with updates on the Matts Creek fire as of Wednesday, 11/15/2023.

The weather remains dry Wednesday, Thursday and most of Friday, meaning that the wildfire risk will be high during that time.

The chance for rain increases late Friday into Friday night, but rain totals won’t be impressive.

Rain showers have a hard time making it over the mountains Friday night

Those near the West Virginia-Virginia border will see 0.1-0.5” Rain totals decrease to trace amounts (if anything) the farther east you go.

Come Saturday, we’re forecasting especially high fire weather conditions. Strong wind gusts and dropping humidity will make us even more susceptible to wildfires.

Extremely high fire risk Saturday

The hope is for a more widespread, soaking rain to develop the Monday night and Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

We have an update on that potential here.

Stay with us for updates on the drought, wildfire threat and forecast by download our free 10 News and weather apps here.

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