ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)—Due to the increased fire danger in both Southwest Virginia and western North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway announced a temporary ban on backcountry campfires effective immediately.

The National Parks Service says that fire restrictions apply to all backcountry campsites and shelters, but does not affect the front country, year-round picnic areas. According to the ban, fires in developed areas must always be confined to designated fire rings and grills.

National Parks Service asks front country picnickers to reduce the risk of wildfires by extinguishing fires completely until ashes are cool to touch.

Park officials are currently working with multiple area agencies in response to current and predicted weather conditions.