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Burn Law in Effect - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Burn Law in Effect

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Virginia's annual burn law goes into effect Tuesday. It prohibits burning leaves, bushes or debris before 4:00 in the afternoon.  The law also prohibits burns within 300 feet of woodlands, fields or any other possible fuel source.

The annual 4:00 p.m. burn law runs through April 30.  Violators face up to a $500 fine. Anyone who allows a fire to escape is liable for the cost of fighting the fire and any damage to others' property.

This law is different from other burn bans. It goes into effect because now is the time for extreme fire danger.

The ban includes burning leaves, logs, debris, grass and a field of dry grass within 300 feet of any woodland, brush land or any other inflammable material before 4:00 p.m.

In most areas you are allowed to burn from 4:00 in the afternoon until midnight. This is because the winds aren't as strong as they are in the day.

Richard Jones of the Charlottesville Fire Department said, "Right now is a prime time for brush fires to occur. With a lot of things over the winter time, branches, leaves, and fuel that has fallen to the forest floor, the grasslands are very dry and it's prime conditions with the humidity for a brush fire to take place."

Debris burning is the leading cause of forest fires in the commonwealth. Battalion Chief Jones says if you do need to burn something, just use common sense.

If you live in Albemarle County, you are allowed to have a controlled fire but you need to call the county's fire and rescue department to get a permit to burn. The number is 434-296-5833.

In the city of Charlottesville it is illegal to burn at any time.

The Department of Forestry says there were 897 fires across Virginia last year that burned nearly 8,500 acres.

Click here to read the full text of the burn law.

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