Virginia Burn Law to Go into Effect Through April

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Albemarle County Fire Rescue Albemarle County Fire Rescue

Virginia’s annual burn law is set to go into effect Thursday, February 15.

The 4 p.m. burning law comes into effect each spring, and will remain in place until April 30.

This is different from a burning ban. The law says you can't have a fire within 300 feet of woodland, brushland, or a field containing dry grass or other flammable materials.

The law also says you can only create a fire between 4 p.m. and midnight while the law is in effect.

If caught violating these rules, you could face a $500 fine.

Albemarle County Fire Rescue Press Release:

This is a reminder that Virginia's 4:00 PM Burning Law goes into effect on February 15. The 4:00 PM Burning Law comes into effect each spring and is different from the burning bans, which are invoked only during periods of extreme fire danger. The 4:00 PM ban is in effect until April 30.

Debris burning continues to be the leading cause of forest fires in Virginia. Please see information below provided by Virginia Department of Forestry.

Burning Laws

  • No burning until after 4:00 p.m. February 15 through April 30 of each year, if the fire is in or within 300 feet of woodland, brush-land or field containing dry grass or other flammable material.
  • Fires shall not be left unattended.
  • No new fires set or fuel added after midnight.
  • Law applies to campfires, warming fires, brush piles, leaves, stumps, fields of broom straw and brush or anything capable of spreading fire.
  • The law provides for a penalty of up to $500, plus payment of court costs and fire suppression costs if the fire escapes.

If you must burn, here are some open burn safety tips;

1. Contact your local fire department or Virginia Department of Forestry office.

2. Beware of power lines, trees and structures.

3. Clear all flammable materials, such as dry leaves and dry grass, from around the fire.

4. Have water and hand tools, such as a shovel and/or rake, available.

5. Have communication available or have someone nearby who can call for help in case of an

6. Burn when the humidity is high and the wind is calm.

7. Burn between 4:00 p.m. and midnight.

8. Stay with the fire until it is completely out.

The 4 PM Burning Law is in effect from February 15 through April 30.

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