Virginia burning law in effect until April 30

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 7:31 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Starting February 15, the 4 p.m. burning law goes into effect statewide.

Here in Virginia, until April 30, you are now only allowed to open air burn from the hours of 4 p.m. to midnight.

Fire officials encourage you not to burn at all if you don’t have to.

“If it’s determined that your fire spread to some neighbor’s property and burned down a shed or something like that, you could have to pay the cost of their shed burning down. You’re also going to have to pay the cost of all of the firefighters and department of forestry folks that have to come out to fight the fire that you started. So it’s not just the fine; sometimes there’s restitution that has to be paid as well,” said Brian Clingenpeel, Community Outreach Coordinator with Roanoke County Fire and Rescue.

This law applies to campfires, brush piles and anything capable of spreading a fire.

The reason this law goes into effect is the weather conditions.

“Sixty percent of the state’s wildfires happen during the months of February, March and April and that’s because typically during these months, we have very low humidity, we have wind that starts to pick up, and temperatures start to get warmer... also, there’s a lot of what we call fuel on the ground from the winter, so there’s lots of dead sticks leaves, dry grass, those kinds of things that are on the ground during these months that again, make it very easy for fires to spread,” said Clingenpeel.

It’s also important to check with you locality because there could be even more restrictions on burning in your hometown.