The last thing anyone wishes for is for their house to burn down or any of their precious barns with animals to be destroyed by fires.
Brush fires accidently happen every year, whether it be by a discarded cigarette butt, a campfire that wasn’t drowned or put out completely, by a child playing with matches or even by an old kerosene jug sitting in the sun, just to name a few.
Craig County is fortunate to have many local fire departments that work diligently in getting to a scene as quickly as possible when someone calls in about a devastating fire.
“This is a statewide burn ban,” Jim Cady, the Craig County Emergency Management Coordinator and Emergency Services Coordinator, said. “It’s every year, dates change slightly.”
Already though, there has been a 4 p.m. burn put into effect, starting on February 15 that will run through April 30.
The purposed Burning Law in brief is:
- No burning until after 4 p.m. If within 300 feet of woodland or grass brushland leading into woodlands
- Fire must be attended at all times if within 150 feet of woodland or grass or brushland leading into woodland
- No fuel may be added, or fire rekindled after midnight
- Law applies to campfire, warming fires, brush piles, household trash, stumps, fields of broomstraw and brush or anything capable of spreading fire
Everyone seems to know, whether by experience or watching the television, that wildfires can burn millions of acres of land at shockingly fast speeds, consuming everything in their paths.
National Geographic has concluded that, “The fast pace rolling flames can travel up to 14-miles an hour, which converts to about a four-minute-mile pace and can overtake the average human in minutes.”
Also, naturally occurring wildfires can spark during dry weather and in droughts.
“In these conditions, normally green vegetation can convert into bone-dry, flammable fuel; strong winds spread fire quickly; and warm temperatures encourage combustion. With these ingredients, the only thing missing is a spark – in the form of lightning, arson, a downed power line, or a burning campfire or cigarette – to wreak havoc,” added the National Geographic.
The maximum fine is $500 if one is found to have started a fire.
Individuals may contact the Virginia Department of Forestry for any additional information. It is always better to stay on the side of caution.
As Smokey the Bear states, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”
So, let’s all do our part and be alert whether in our yards, in the woods or driving along our roads. It take a community to keep a community safe.