4 p.m. burn law begins Monday

Published 11:22 am Friday, February 12, 2016

FARMVILLE — Virginia’s 4 p.m. Burning Law goes into effect Monday, signifying the start of spring fire season in the commonwealth. 

“This law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. each day (Feb. 15–April 30) if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials,” the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) said in a press release.

According to the agency, a violation of this law is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. “In addition to the criminal violation, those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire as well as any damage caused to others’ property.”

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“Because people are the cause of more than 95 percent of wildland fires in the commonwealth, the 4 p.m. burning law may be one of the most effective tools we have in the prevention of wildfires,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at the VDOF.

“Each late winter and early spring, downed trees, branches and leaves become ‘forest fuels’ that increase the danger of a wildfire.”