VIRGINIA (WVVA) -- Outdoor fires before 4 p.m. are now unlawful in Virginia. The ban remains in effect from February 15 to April 30.
The law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of woodland, brush or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
"The 4 p.m. Burn Law is one of the most effective tools we have in the prevention of wildfires," said John Miller, director of fire and emergency response at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). "In late winter and early spring, downed trees, branches and leaves become 'forest fuel' that increase the danger of a forest fire. By adhering to the law and not burning before 4 p.m., people are less likely to start a fire that threatens them, their property and the forests of Virginia."
According to the VDOF, the 4 p.m. time frame is based on environmental factors; after 4 p.m., the winds are likely to be calmer, the temperature decreases and humidity increases, all of which contribute to safer burning conditions.
Click here for more information on VA fire laws.