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A special weather statement has been issued

Enhanced fire danger will be in place through the rest of the day across east Tennessee, southwest Virginia and southwest North Carolina.  Enhanced fire danger is due to strong and gusty winds that are expected to develop as the day progresses.  Wind gusts will increase by late afternoon with gusts between 30 and 40 mph possible above 2000 feet.  Gusts are between 40 and 50 mph  are possible over 3500 feet.  Locally higher gusts expected at the highest elevations. Valley locations will see gusts between 20 and 30 mph.  Relative humidity values aren’t as big of a concern as the winds today.  Values will drop into the low to mid 40s across Northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia during the afternoon hours ad upper 40s to mid 50s across the central and southern TN valley and upper 50s to mid 60s across Southwest NC.  The strong and gusty winds will make conditions near ongoing wildfires very dangerous, allowing them to possibly spread at a fast rate.  Any new fires that develop will also have the chance to spread quickly.  Residents of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Southwest North Carolina need to be extra vigilant to prevent wildfire due to the enhanced potential fore fire growth and spread.