RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's fall fire season is being extended until Dec. 10 because of dry conditions.
John Miller with the Department of Forestry says the agency doesn't expect a significant break in the rainfall pattern.
Conditions will be evaluated weekly to determine whether additional extensions are needed.
The fall fire season was scheduled to end Nov. 30.
The Department of Forestry says 73 fires burned 1,133 acres in November.
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Virginia Department of Forestry Press Release
Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) announced an extension of Fall Fire Season to December 10. Since more than 95 percent of wildfires that occur in Virginia are the result of human activity, citizens are reminded to be cautious with outdoor fire. Following proper safety practices when disposing of hot ashes or burning debris will significantly reduce the occurrence of wildfires and the threat to you and your neighbors.
In November, the agency responded to 73 fires which burned 1,133 acres. Firefighting personnel reported concerns related to fire suppression, mop-up after fire containment, and the consumption of larger fuels.
"Looking ahead into December, we don't see a significant break in the overall rainfall pattern and are, therefore, planning for continued fire activity," said John Miller, director of resource protection at VDOF. "Extending our readiness level beyond fire season helps ensure our personnel availability for emergency fire response heading into early December."
Weekly evaluations of conditions will determine if additional extensions are needed. the agency's readiness and mobilization plan. VDOF personnel availability and response remain a high-priority during this time.
Fall Fire Season occurs October 15 to November 30 each year. Low relative humidity, high winds and outdoor activities involving fire increase the risk of wildfires at this time of year.