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Dry Conditions Put Parts Of Maryland Under Drought Watch

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BRUSH FIRE
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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s like a tinderbox out there with widespread concern over the possibility of forest fires.

Mary Bubala reports drought-like conditions have some Maryland counties under water restrictions and almost everyone hoping for rain.

And it’s not just Maryland facing the dry conditions. There are record low daily stream flow conditions up and down the East Coast.

A four-alarm brush fire ignited in Anne Arundel County Sunday. It took nearly 100 firefighters to douse the blaze, which burned more than two acres.

“It was very scary. It came up very quickly and with the wind, the fire came within a couple feet of the road,” said Linda Bouchard.

A red flag warning is now issued in the county, banning any open burning.

“Any open campfires or open fire pits, things like that. You cannot do that right now, due to potential for that fire getting away and starting a large brush fire,” said Anne Arundel County Fire Captain John Rostek.

High winds and dry vegetation could be a recipe for disaster when it comes to fire.

“Any small fire can immediately progress to a large fire in a matter of minutes,” Rostek said.

“It will be very interesting to see what happens this year because we’ve never seen weather like we’ve seen this past year,” said Wendy McPherson, U.S. Geological Survey.

McPherson says the rain from tropical storms Irene and Lee helped sustain the region, but no snow this winter caused levels to plummet.

“We hardly had a winter. We didn’t have snowfall and winter is the time where, when the rain falls, it recharges our groundwater,” McPherson said.

No water restrictions have been issued yet. Reservoir levels are still at 98 percent.

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