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.)

Comments (9)
  1. Herman Glimsher says:

    OK, I’m confused……..don’t they put a new/different Christmas tree down at the ellipse every year???/
    why does this story state that the tree has stood there since 1978???

    1. Maria says:

      No, they don’t put a new one up each year. They just decorate it for the holidays each year. The tree was planted in 1978. It is out in the open, so the is no shelter from high winds. Not the first National Christmas tree to go down in high winds.

  2. willie man hanging says:

    O’Bama chopped it down. He thought it was a cherry tree.

  3. Tadum1 says:

    Is the “O’Bama” misspelling in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit? I like!

  4. Herman Glimsher says:


    1. Colleen Lynn says:

      You might be thinking of the one in front of the Capitol Building?

  5. willie man hanging says:

    Herm, Yeah, N.Y. get’s a new one every year while the White house keeps planting a thing called the “Money Tree” or a reasonable facsimile.

  6. abc says:

    there was also a 3 acre brush fire in glen arm off of dulaney valley rd in the woods behind a neighborhood

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