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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This law has been on the "books" since 1950 and is directly responsibe for the prevention of hundreds if not thousands of wildfires all accross the Commonwealth. By reminding folks that this time of year is of concern for wildfires and by restricting when and where outdoor burning can occur helps reduce the carless, unintentional wildfire starts.
The actual law reads ......
 During the period February 15 through April 30 of each year, even though the precautions required by the foregoing subsection have been taken, it shall be unlawful, in any county or city or portion thereof organized for forest fire control under the direction of the State Forester, for any person to set fire to, or to procure another to set fire to, any brush, leaves, grass, debris or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material capable of spreading fire, located in or within 300 feet of any woodland, brushland, or field containing dry grass or other inflammable material, except between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
Violation of this law is a class 3 misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $500. If your outdoor burning get out of your control and the firedepartments and VA Department of Forestry needs to respond to suppress the escaped fire you will be responsible for the cost of suppressing the fire which might be thousands of dollars. There may be additional law violations should this occur.
For more information of the 4 PM law and other Forest Fire Laws please visit

  • Code of Virginia: Forestry Table of Contents

  • Protecting Virginia's Forests from Wildfire

    • Cost Recovery for Fire Protection § 10.1-1141 Liability and recovery of cost of fighting forest fires
    • 4 p.m. Burning Law § 10.1-1142 Regulating the burning of woods, brush, etc.; penalties l Exemption from the 4 p.m. Burning Law.
    • Throwing inflammatory objects from vehicle on highway while in or near certain lands § 10.1-1143
    • Rewards for information leading to conviction of arsonists or incendiaries § 10.1-1138
    • Serious Fire Hazards § 10.1-1158

    The short video clip below was taken from a NBC TV 29 news broadcast out of Charlottesville this morning.

    Last year from February 14 through the 19th was acritical time for all of Virginian's. Weather conditions were a big reason why during that time over 1,000 fires burned several thousands of acres with dozens of homes being damaged and hundreds of homeowners being evacuated.
    So PLEASE join the Virginia Department of Forestry AND SMOKEY BEAR and do your part, don't let a wildfire start.
    More safety tips will follow over the next few days please check back often.

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