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Windy, Dry Conditions Lead To Dozens Of Fires

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(Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Strong winds, mild temperatures and extremely dry air are contributing to dozens of wildfires across the mid-Atlantic region. 

Fires have shut down Interstate 95 in central Maryland and are affecting traffic on I-95 in northern Virginia. 

In Prince George’s County, Md., all off-duty firefighters have been called to duty. One of the worst fires is at a mulch plant in Laurel, where piles of mulch have been burning out of control for hours. The blaze jumped into the median of I-95, prompting state police to shut down the highway. 

Strong winds also toppled the National Christmas Tree, which had stood on the Ellipse near the White House since 1978. 

Thousands of customers in the region have lost power. 

There have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries. 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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