Southwest Virginia counties concerned about dry weather

ROANOKE, Va.-Dry weather continues to be a concern in many parts of southwest Virginia. Several counties have burn bans in place to keep fires from spreading.

But areas without them saw several this weekend.

Twice during the weekend, the Troutville Fire Department were called to put out brush and grass fires in two locations. The first was on Nace Road. 

The second fire on Lee Highway was caused by running equipment. It burned nearly half an acre and took seven volunteers to soak the area with water to prevent the fire from starting again.

Chief Zack Beckner said the conditions are perfect for these small fires to rapidly spread. 

"The call went out as a vehicle fire. So in our minds, we were expecting some kind of small lawn mower or just a small car on fire. But with these conditions, we've had to tailor our response to include one of our larger trucks but also a brush truck because that fire was spreading up in to the bank an into the wood line," Beckner said.  

Because of the fire this weekend, the department is preparing its truck with more water and using the tanker truck if necessary.  

And they want to educate people that anything that can create a spark can create a fire. 

"Anytime a person burns outdoors, before ... igniting the fire, they have to clear around the area to create a fuel break, so the fire can't spread. And secondly, they have to remain with the fire until it is completely out cold," said Joseph Boswell, senior area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry. 

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