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Virginia’s burn ban took effect today and will remain in effect through April 30. The law prohibits outdoor burning before 4 p.m. in or within 300 feet of wooded areas.
The law also includes brush land or fields that contain dry grass or other flammable materials.
While the burn restrictions are in place, residents are allowed to burn only 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 precautions include keeping dirt, sand, water or a fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish fires.
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 Danville Fire Department reminds residents and visitors that City regulations restrict what can be burned within the city limits to only allowing leaves, tree trimmings, yard and garden trimmings to be burned. The fires have to be 50 feet from any structure, and provisions have to be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.
The regulations also require the written permission from property owners of buildings located within 300 feet of the burning site. These open burning regulations are in place all year long within the City of Danville.
Residents are encouraged to check the weather prior to burning to ensure conditions are favorable. Low humidity and high winds create unfavorable conditions that allow a fire to become uncontrollable.
In the event the burning becomes a smoke or ash nuisance, or upon a declaration of an alert, warning, or emergency conditions, all burning may be halted.
A violation of state and city regulations are class one misdemeanors which are punishable by a fine not to exceed 2,500, or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both.
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.
For more information about the burn law, contact the Danville Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Office at (434) 799-5226.