New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | February 23, 2019

Spring wildfire season begins Feb. 15

By Community Member | February 9, 2018 12:07 am

Spring wildfire season is now in effect for New Kent and Charles City. Between Feb. 15 and Apr. 30, burn restrictions are in effect for both counties. Here are some reminders during that time frame:

–Open burning which is 300 feet of woods or grass which could carry the fire to the woods is banned before 4 p.m. (Open burning is burning which releases smoke and other products of combustion directly to the atmosphere without passing through a chimney or screen.) Otherwise permissible air burning is only allowed between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. (midnight). All other open burning regulations still apply.

–Virginia sees an increase in forest fires this time of year. Dry materials, low humidity, and increased winds elevate the risk of forest fires and that is why the law is in effect.

–Winds usually calm down after 4 p.m. and relative humidity increase, thus making it safer to conduct open burning.

–Campfires and recreational fires are included in the ban. Fires which are in approved containers and covered with a quarter-inch metal screen or fires in commercially available chimneys or similar devices may be used if they are complete and in good condition. The fire has to be attended to at all times until it is cold.

–You may use a gas or charcoal grill, but you still must take proper care to keep combustible/flammable materials away from the device. The grill must be attended to at all times while it is burning.

–Violation of the burning law is a Class 3 misdemeanor which is 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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