Counties issue burn bans across Southwest Virginia

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) - As wildfires continue to spread across the Appalachians, Southwest Virginia leaders are warning people about the dangers in this area.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Montgomery, Botetourt, Franklin, Floyd and Patrick counties, as well as parts of Craig County and the Blue Ridge Parkway have issued burn bans.

Some of these bans even apply to closed fire pits. Failure to comply is a misdemeanor offense.

Forestry leaders said these are some of the driest and most dangerous conditions they have seen in their careers and it will likely get worse before it gets better.

"This weekend, we're having a cold front come in, and we will be having high winds and low humidity on Saturday and Sunday," said Department of Forestry veteran Charlie Yopp. "This will make the conditions a lot worse for us."

Leaders said even flicking a cigarette butt out of a car window is enough to start a major fire in these conditions.

The burn bans will not be lifted until the area receives a heavy rain.