Dry conditions lead to fire risk for Monday; what to know for the spring wildfire season

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia is currently in the spring wildfire season. As periods of dry weather enter the forecast, Virginians should take care when burning outside.

Dry conditions in Southwest Virginia will result in an increased risk for fire danger. The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement until 6:00 p.m. for the enhanced threat for wildfires Monday afternoon. This is due to the low relative humidity values and dry fuel, such as grasses and leaves, on the ground. Any fires that are ignited could potentially spread quickly.

The 4 p.m. Law is a restriction on open-air burning before 4 p.m. This restriction goes into effect on February 15 and continues until April 30. Virginia residents are reminded that open burning is prohibited before 4 p.m. each day through April 30. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, winds usually calm down and the relative humidity levels increase after 4 p.m.

During the 4 p.m. Law restriction period, you are allowed to burn between 4 p.m. and midnight as long as you take proper care and attention to your fire at all times. Here are some tips to minimize the risk of wildfires:

  • Obey all burn bans.
  • Don’t burn on windy days. This could cause fires to quickly spread and become harder to control.
  • Make sure to properly discard all smoking materials, like cigarettes and matches.
  • Do not let metal chains hang off of trailers when traveling. These chains could ignite a spark when hitting the asphalt.
  • Keep burn piles small.
  • Have water and tools nearby in case your fire starts to spread.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • If your fire becomes uncontrollable, call 911 immediately.

While Monday is looking dry, rain will return to the forecast for the week ahead. Wet weather will lessen the wildfire risk for a period of time. To learn more about the upcoming forecast, visit our WFXR Pinpoint Weather page.

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