12/28/2020 -- Ohio River Fire Closing in on Philadelphia

December 28th, 2020

NYC SAFE ZONE — For the past three months firefighters have been combatting the out-of-control Ohio River wildfire. In mid-September all hope of keeping the fire under control was lost when the blaze consumed the ruined city of Pittsburgh and tripled in size overnight. Since September the fire has been wind-driven by a powerful southerly gulf stream that has brought unseasonably warm winds and dry weather to the area.

Firefighters from across the United States in association with engineers and military support attempted to stave off the wildfire in Mid-December by cutting a twelve mile long burn line east of the Susquehanna River in the hopes of preventing the fire from reaching the New York area. Just after Christmas the fire spread north and crossed the river at the town of Riverside, PA. Three thousand residents were evacuated ahead of the blaze. The town now lays in ashes as the fire continues steadily moving eastward toward Philadelphia.

The US Army Corps of Engineers have withdrawn to the outskirts of Philadelphia and are making concerted efforts to create a second fire break to stave off the inferno. The blaze has persisted in spite of the wet, wintry weather due to the consumption of fuels from ruined towns and abandoned vehicles left behind from the Civil War.

Philadelphia, which currently houses a population of roughly 25,000 itinerant residents who have refused to acknowledge evacuation orders following the Civil War now face a second call for exodus as the massive fire bears down on their home. Many have already begun to flee east, heading to the remote New Jersey settlement of Providence in the hopes of waiting out the blaze.

Smoke and ash from the wildfire has hit the Safe Zone and thin blankets of ash are common during morning hours. Residents of the Safe Zone and surrounding territories are recommended to wear protective face coverings to limit risk of smoke inhalation.

President Raymond Praeger has stated his determination to stop the fire and President-Elect Joshua Harding is already building an emergency plan to combat the blaze with more SLC-Expressive resources.

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