High threat for wildfires ahead
There is a high threat of wildfires over the next few days.
Weather conditions make it favorable for wildfires because of higher temperatures, sustained winds, wind gusts, and low relative humidity.
The most significant threat is from now through Saturday, as there is no rain in the forecast until Tuesday, February 22.
Burning leaves, yard waste, and trash continues to be the major cause of wildfires in Virginia.
"Keep your cigarettes in an ash tray where they belong, or better yet quit. If you are intending to have any kind of burn outside, make sure it's appropriate and with the state $ Pm Law and local restrictions.
Confused about when you can burn when the 4
PM Law is in effect? Just remember NOT
The state burning ban prevents anyone from starting fires within 300 feet of woods, brush or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
In addition to criminal penalties, those convicted of burning during the ban can be held liable for repaying the costs of fighting the fire.
People can burn yard debris from 4 p.m. to midnight because that's when winds tend to die down, BUT are still responsible for suppression costs and any damages should your “legal” fire escape and turn into a wildfire!.
A violation of the burning law is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition, anyone who allows a fire to escape is liable for the cost of fighting the fire as well as any damage caused to other people's property.
According to the forestry department, while the risk of wildfires is heightened at this time of year by high winds and plenty of dry fuel in forests and brushlands, the risk generally eases after 4 p.m. as wind speeds decrease and humidity increases.
On average, Virginia sees 1,449 wildfires each year, burning 8,338 acres, according to the forestry department. The all-time high number of fires was 3,697 in 1941; 1930 saw the most acreage burned, 333,023 acres.
Even with the winter snows and rain most of Virginia is considered in moderate drought conditions.
Three juveniles arrested in connection with Chesterfield fire
CHESTERFIELD, Va. --
Chesterfield Police arrested three juveniles this evening in connection with a large brush fire that continues to be a threat in the southern section of the county. They were released to their parents.
Firefighters will remain on the scene of the 20-acre fire throughout the night.
The fire began about 4:30 p.m. and is located in the Qualla Road area northwest of Interstate 288 near Family Lane and Alberta Road. Investigators believe a lighter used by the youths started the blaze.