KNOW THE FOREST LAWS AND LOCAL ORDINANCES BEFORE BURNING

When weather systems pass through this time of year, the relative humidity can drop significantly. That, in combination with a gusty wind, can cause fires to spread out of control rapidly.

The statewide law prohibits open air burning before 4 p.m. within 300 feet of woodlands and remains in effect until April 30th. This applies to camp fires, leaves, brush piles, trash and anything that can spread a fire.

However, a pit fire may be approved if it meets ALL the following conditions: Fire is below ground level, continuously monitored, completely enclosed with cinder blocks, and a 1/4" or smaller metal screen is placed over the enclosure. Extra precautions should be taken to clear a 20-foot circle of all flammable materials and have water available.

Any costs associated with any escaped fire will be the responsibility of the fire starter. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, 95% of wildfires are caused by human activity.

For more information you may visit http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/4pm/faqs-statewide-burn-ban.htm. You can contact Prince George Fire & EMS at 804.722.8614 or fireems@princegeorgeva.org