Firefighters are battling brush fire Wednesday afternoon along I-695 in the Essex area of Baltimore County.

Traffic on the the Baltimore Beltway was closed in both directions between exits 36 and 38, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department. No injuries have been reported.

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Fire crews said two brush fires covered 8 to 10 acres along the Amtrak and CSX train tracks.

Train service was shut down for a little over an hour.

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In Anne Arundel County, several acres of brush caught fire near Crownsville, closing River Road, according to a report in The Capital. The fire was contained by 4:30 p.m. but continued spraying water in areas that may be smoldering, a department spokesperson told the newspaper.

A Red Flag Warning was issued Wednesday for much of Maryland as gusty winds and low humidity are in the forecast.

The warning is in effect from noon through 8 p.m. for Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Carroll counties, along with other parts of Central and Western Maryland.

The National Weather Service said a Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly.

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A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior, the agency said.

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Just last week, 700 acres were razed and residents were evacuated after a massive brush fire in Owings Mills.

The NWS said residents should prepare by listening for later forecasts and warnings.

WJZ is a media partner of The Baltimore Banner.

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