Fire danger remains high in western Virginia

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ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A 10-acre fire last weekend in Botetourt County was just one of about 150 fires that burned nearly 1000 acres across the state.

"We're right in the middle of spring fire season. It goes from mid-February to the end of April when everything is dormant," said Chris Thomsen, Acting Regional Forester in the Western Regional Office of the Virginia Department of Forestry. "And it gets worse when we have these high winds and low humidities like we did last weekend."

Ten years last month, wind-driven wildfires popped up throughout the area, testing the capacity of local fire departments to respond .

We aren't expecting that kind of trouble this weekend, but forestry officials say it serves as a reminder of what can happen

"!t was a fairly wet time of year, but we had hurricane force winds. We had low humidity and those flash fuels burned," Thomsen said. "That's what we saw last week, and what we hope we don't see this weekend."

State forestry officials will be manning the regional office this weekend. They're anticipating high fire danger days until we see some more moisture, perhaps on Sunday.

And they are encouraging everyone to avoid burning outdoors until the conditions improve