More than 30 wildfires broke out in Anne Arundel County yesterday, prompting county fire officials to plead with residents to be cautious putting out cigarettes and to pay attention to the dry conditions.
"It's a quick spike, and it has us a little concerned," said county Division Chief Stuart D. McNicol. "And with the nice weather, people are outside, and people cause fires."
Between midnight and 3:30 p.m. yesterday there were 32 brush fires, McNicol said. Normally the county has four brush fires a day. There were two large fires, one in Linthicum and another in Piney Orchard.
Brush fires refer to blazes that occur in the woods or on open land. Sometimes the fires are ignited naturally, but more often they're caused by human mistakes, McNicol said. Rain this weekend would help reduce the risk of fire, he said.
McNicol warned residents not to try to battle the fires themselves, but said anyone who spots one should call 911.
Firefighters spent more than three hours battling a brush and barn fire in the Prince Frederick area of Calvert County yesterday afternoon, said Capt. Timothy Delahanty of the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department. The fire, near Barstow Road and Sugar Notch Road, was called in about 2 p.m., Delahanty said.
No one was injured, and the blaze was contained by the late afternoon, officials said.
Annie Linskey and Julie Scharper
Firefighter injured in house blaze
A two-alarm fire broke out yesterday afternoon in a Northwest Baltimore house, causing minor injuries to a firefighter, fire officials said. The fire, in a house at Garrison Boulevard and Duvall Avenue, was reported at 4:06 p.m. Firefighters brought the blaze under control about an hour later, officials said. The fire's cause and amount of damage are under investigation.
Woman sentenced for embezzlement
A 38-year-old Baltimore woman was sentenced this week in federal court to serve two years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her Owings Mills employer. Roberta A. Moore, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, was also ordered to pay more than $317,000 in restitution to Aether Systems, a provider of wireless data products and services in Baltimore County. Moore had worked for Aether in its accounts payable department between 2001 and 2002.
Region: Interstate 95
Nightly ramp closures set
State transportation officials are planning a series of nighttime ramp closures along Interstate 95 starting this weekend for construction work and light pole inspections. The planned closings -- weather permitting -- include:
At Exit 61, the exit ramp from northbound I-95 to eastbound U.S. 40, from 7 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. Monday. Motorists should take northbound I-95 to Moravia Road, Exit 60, then turn right at Moravia Park Drive and turn left onto U.S. 40.
On westbound U.S. 40, the entrance ramp onto southbound I-95, from 7 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Tuesday. Motorists on westbound U.S. 40 should turn left at Moravia Park Drive, and then turn left at Moravia Road and follow to southbound I-95.
At Exit 57, the ramp from southbound I-95 to O'Donnell/Boston Street, from 7 p.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Motorists should take southbound I-95 to Keith Avenue, Exit 56, and then turn left at Keith Avenue, turn left onto northbound I-95, and follow to O'Donnell/Boston Street.
At Exit 58, the exit ramp from northbound I-95 to Dundalk Avenue, from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday. Motorists should take northbound I-95 to Eastern Avenue, Exit 59, then turn left at Eastern Avenue, turn left at Kane Street and proceed to Dundalk Avenue as a detour.