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Virginia’s burn law goes is now in effect through April 30. The law prohibits outdoor burning in or within 300 feet of wooded areas before 4 p.m.
The law also includes brush land or fields that contain dry grass or other flammable materials.
“The ‘4 p.m. 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). “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 Virginia.”
Burning conditions are safer after 4 p.m. when the humidity increases, winds calm and temperatures decrease, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.
While the burn restrictions are in place, residents are only allowed to burn between 4 p.m. and midnight.
Active fires must be attended at all times and proper care and precautions should be taken when burning anything. The law is put into place in order to reduce the number of wildfires because after 4 p.m. winds are generally not as strong and humidity levels increase, which reduces the potential for a fire to get out of control.
The public should also be aware that although the burning is conducted with permission and by the regulations, they are not exempt from any consequences, liability, damages or injuries which may result from the burning.
The state has nearly 16 million acres of forest land. This law has been on the books since 1950, and it has been credited with saving hundreds of thousands of acres from the damages of wildfires.
For more information about the burn law, contact the Danville Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Office at (434) 799-5226.