… that coyote mating season is under way. Why: Mating season could mean increased interactions between coyotes and domesticated outdoor pets. While coyotes typically avoid interaction with humans, the time from midwinter until early spring often sees more aggression between the wild animals and our pets — which coyotes view as either threats or prey, depending upon the size of your animal.

… that multiple emergency crews and fire departments are ready and able to respond within minutes to threats. Why: A recent chimney fire resulted in no personal injuries, but the home did sustain considerable damage. A reminder: Chimney fires are easily ignited during this time of the year; make sure your chimney has been cleared by a professional as ready for use.

… that High Country natives are willing to return to their home area to dedicate service to our community. Why: Watauga County’s newest forest ranger through the N.C. Forest Service is Alleghany County-native James Hall. Hall has an extensive service record from years of work in South Carolina and assisting with combatting wildland fires in the western part of the United States and in Canada. We welcome Hall and his expertise to our local crews.

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