Virginia Forestry officials issue burn bans following concerns about fires in SWVA

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS10) - The Virginia Department of Forestry  (VDOF) has issued burn bans in several counties across the state as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Officials said, since October 15, they have responded to over 100 calls about fires that burned about 3000 acres in the Commonwealth. In Southwest Virginia they say there are 18 fires that burned about 105 acres.

Forestry leaders said for every 11 acres of forest fire there is at least one home threatened and so far they say two people have passed away from burns.

Fire fighters are discouraging anyone from burning any materials like trash or leaves since the weather is dry but make sure water is ready, and have tools like shovels to be able to put the fire out in case one starts.

They said while 3 fires are currently burning in Franklin county and 1 burning in Buchanan they expect the ban to stay in effect until Thanksgiving.

"It's especially important at this time that they do not burn those leaves, but they look at other means for clearing any debris they have and even if there's not a burn ban in place that they do not burn at this time," Bettina Ring, with the Virginia Department of Forestry said.