Lightning safety tips when outdoors

Summer storms can pop up quickly, and with them come lightning strikes. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office offers these basic safety tips if you are in the area of a thunderstorm while outside. If you can hear thunder, you are in striking distance of lightning, so look for shelter. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from any precipitation. Wait at least 30 minutes before hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter. Stay off porches. There is no safe place outside, and places with only a roof on golf courses, sports fields and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used as a source of shelter. And if a person is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately.

Portion of Foxville Deerfield Road closing for repairs

The National Park Service will close part of Foxville Deerfield Road from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to complete emergency road repairs between Owens Creek Picnic Area and Owens Creek Campground. The picnic area will remain accessible from the west, and the campground will remain accessible from the east; however, the road will be closed to thru traffic during repairs. Motorists can use Manahan Road, which parallels Foxfield Deerfield Road, as a detour. The work will repair damage to the road shoulder caused by recent heavy rainfall. For more information, contact Catoctin Mountain Park’s visitor center at 301-663-9388.

DNR photo contest deadline is Aug. 31

The 16th annual Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo contest runs through Aug. 31. All winners will be featured in DNR’s 2020 wall calendar and published in the winter 2020 edition of the magazine. All entries must be submitted online, and no hard copies of photos will be accepted. Categories include birds, insects, flora, recreation, scenic landscapes, weather and wonder, and wildlife. Photos that highlight native species will be given preference in selection. All images must be horizontal in orientation. First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected by season. The entry fee is $10 for up to three photos; $3 for each additional entry; payable at before entries can be submitted at

— Susan Guynn

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