Fire personnel at the Quaker Run Fire in Virginia last month. Virginia Department of Forestry

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a month-long state of emergency due to uncontained wildfires amid severe drought conditions in the state.

One of the fires was located partially in Shenandoah National Park, while the other was about 200 miles farther southwest, near the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, according to the map of wildfires from the Virginia Department of Forestry. In an executive order, Youngkin said the state of emergency went into effect Monday and remains in force for 30 days unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

“Virginia is experiencing multiple wildfires around the state due to extremely dry conditions and high winds, both of which are common during the ongoing fall fire season,” the executive order said. “These fires have and may continue to pose a significant threat to public health and safety” and “additional resources are needed to contain these fires and respond to additional fires as necessary.”

The order mandates the evacuation of affected areas if local officials deem it necessary and authorizes a maximum of $2.75 million in state funds for response and recovery.

The order said two fires, the Quaker Run Fire in Madison County, about 90 miles southwest of Washington, and the Tuggles Gap Fire in Patrick County, about 310 miles southwest of Washington, “broke containment lines in recent days.”

The Quaker Run Fire in Virginia last month. Virginia Department of Forestry

The Quaker Run Fire has burned about 2,800 acres on private, state and federal lands, including about 670 acres in Shenandoah National Park, according to the National Park Service. Shenandoah National Park enacted a complete fire ban effective 8 a.m. Monday, the Park Service said, and residents north of 681 Finks Hollow Lane were encouraged to evacuate.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Virginia Department of Forestry wildfire viewer indicated that the Quaker Run Fire was 40 percent contained while the Tuggles Gap Fire, burning on about 500 acres, was 10 percent contained.

The wildfires come as western Virginia and west central Maryland have struggled with severe drought conditions, while the broader Washington region faces abnormally dry conditions, which is the stage before a drought.

After an unusually dry October, the 10th driest on record in Washington, followed rains in August and September, officials have once again voiced concerns about drought. No significant rain is forecast for the next 10 days, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

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