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“This law is one of the most effective tools we have in the prevention of wildfires,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). “Each late winter and early spring, downed trees, branches and leaves become ‘forest fuels’ that increase the danger of a forest fire. By adhering to the law and not burning before 4 p.m., people are less likely to start a fire that threatens them, their property and the forests of
In 2010, there were 897 wildfires that burned 8,485 acres of forestland in the Commonwealth. This was a seven percent increase in the number of wildland fires compared to the number (837) of fires in 2009. Similarly, the amount of acreage burned increased 13 percent when compared to 7,494 acres that burned in 2009.
To learn more about how to protect yourself and your property, visit www.dof.virginia.gov
With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 144,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries,
forests provide more than $27.5 Billion annually in benefits to the Commonwealth. Virginia
I went back into the archives and pulled several "headlines" from springtime fires here in Virginia, from 1988 to 2005. Many of these spring fires followed a wet or so called normal winter. Things dry out and change rather quickly in the spring.
1988…. “Yesterday we had 18 fires that burned 158 acres," said John Graff, chief of fire management at the department's headquarters in
. "We had four more this morning that burned 34 acres." Charlottesville
1995 A 1,200-acre fire that burned through dry loblolly and white pine forests near
A third forest fire broke out in Clarke County about 3 p.m. yesterday when a house burned down and set off wildfires, said Dusty McIntosh of the Front Royal Fire Department. Fred Burlingame, chief forest warden for Frederick and Clarke counties, set a backfire that stopped the fire from sweeping into a dozen woodland homes. The fire burned about 20 acres.
1995… Fires pushed by strong winds blackened more than 1,100 acres of dead, dry forest in western
yesterday, threatening houses and presaging what officials fear will be a long fire season. Virginia
FOREST FIRE DANGER LINGERS DESPITE RAINY WEATHER
Limbs felled by ice storms in 1994 and 1995 could provide fuel for forest fires, especially if Virginia gets a prolonged dry spell or people burning trash become careless, Forestry Department spokesman Lou Southard said.
Southard said a state law restricting trash burning was changed this year in hopes of cutting down on forest fires. The law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. between Feb. 15 and April 30. Before it was changed by the General Assembly, the restriction was in effect from March 1 to May 15.
"On a 20-year average, we found there were 60 percent more fires and 75 percent more acres burned in February than in May," Southard said. He said it is better to burn trash in the evening because humidity generally is higher and winds calmer.
1998 FIRE BURNS ONA spectacular forest fire whipped up the west side of
The blaze began about 3:30 p.m. at the base of the mountain near a subdivision in
1999….. Fires cropped up from the Abingdon area in the state's southwest to forests near the Quantico Marine Corps base within 50 miles of
The most troubling fire was in
APPALACHIA - State Department of Forestry crews contained a series of forest fires in southwest
in an early start to the annual forest fire season. Virginia
Up to a dozen fires have broken out each day since last weekend and have consumed a total of 2,025 acres, said Chuck Hutsell, acting regional forester.
The largest of the fires, involving 700 acres in
, was believed to be arson, Mr. Hutsell said yesterday. Buchanan County
Franklin County Public Safety Director Chris Slemp said the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon on Turkey Cock Mountain in the Snow Creek area of the county. Officials believe lightning might have sparked the blaze because a storm rolled through that area about an hour before a citizen reported seeing smoke about 4:30 p.m.
The fire is not expected to threaten any homes, Slemp said.
firefighters about 90 minutes to reach the fire because the terrain on the mountain is so rough. At 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, county firefighters were ordered to retreat because the fire was spreading rapidly, Slemp said. Franklin County
The Virginia Department of Forestry sent a helicopter to drop water on the blaze Wednesday night and this morning. Their firefighters have taken over the fire with assistance from a few
volunteers, officials said. Franklin County