Emergency burn ban goes up for Prince Edward as storm looms

Published 1:29 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

FARMVILLE – As of noon on Friday, an emergency burn ban went into effect for Prince Edward County. With a severe weather system approaching, county officials put a ban on all open-air fires and outdoor burning. The ban is in place from noon Friday, March 31 to noon on Sunday, April 2. 

“The National Weather Service is predicting breezy conditions this afternoon and evening and strong winds on Saturday with gusting up to 40-50 mph during the day. These conditions can create a significantly elevated public safety risk for citizens and first responders,” said Prince Edward County Administrator Doug Stanley. “This is a precautionary measure to protect life and property in the County.”

Stanley said the decision was made after consulting with the Prince Edward Area Firefighters Association. The ban applies to all public and private property for the entirety of the County of Prince Edward, outside the Town of Farmville. All burning inside the Town of Farmville requires a town permit.

Email newsletter signup

The ban includes and applies to: burning associated with construction, earth moving and demolition operations; burning associated with all agricultural and silvicultural activities; home burn barrels, fire pits or equivalents; campfires on public and private property; and all other open-air and outdoor fires. 

Emergency burn ban due to high winds 

According to officials with the Blacksburg hub of the National Weather Service, a front is coming in late Friday and is expected to stick around through Saturday, April 1. On Friday, folks can expect a breezy day with 10 to 15 miles per hour winds. But as the front comes through late Friday, winds will start picking up to 15 to 20 miles per hour with gusts getting up to 30 to 35 miles per hour.

On Saturday, residents can expect high winds throughout the day. The National Weather Service says to expect southwest winds of around 25 to 30 miles per hour with potential gusts of 40 to 50 by the afternoon. Fortunately, by Sunday morning, winds are expected to be back to normal at around 5 to 10 miles per hour.