Fires blaze throughout Virginia, putting multiple counties under burn ban

Va. – Wildfires and brush fires are all throughout the Commonwealth as weather remains dry and windy.

“All those leaves have just fallen on the ground and those are providing a great fuel source for wildfire, so these conditions make it easy for wildfires to start and it makes them spread quickly once they have started,” Cory Swift, PIO of Virginia Department of Forestry said.

Now, multiple counties like Bedford are under a burn ban.

“We are talking about fire pits, we are talking about burning of leaves, we are talking about burning of brush piles. We are still allowing outdoor grills and stuff like that we realize people still need to cook. Any gas-fired appliances are usually enclosed to the point where we don’t have to worry about a fire spread,” Leo George III, Bedford County Fire Marshal said.

George said the biggest concern during the fall fire season is leaves. He said not to dispose of them by burning.

“What I recommend is just if you have the opportunity to bag it or mulch it and haul it to the dump or haul it off and get rid of it that way, that’s a great way to get rid of it. And maybe just forgo burning it this year,” George said.

George said how long the ban lasts will depend on weather conditions.

“We’ve set this for 30 days, hopefully, we can resend it within a week and a week and a half. It’s an ever-evolving, ever-changing thing that’s what we are looking at. We are hoping to be able to resend it,” George said.

In the meantime, for areas where a burn ban is in effect, It’s against the law to start or maintain any open fire. Violating the burn ban is a class one misdemeanor.

You can see where burn bans are throughout the region by clicking here.

About the Author:

Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.