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Virginia’s 4 p.m. burn law takes effect next week

Having a very mild winter so far this season may have pleased those who enjoy spring-like conditions. However, forestry officials are concerned about how those mild temperatures might impact the spring fire season.

In an effort to help prevent forest fires, Virginia’s 4 p.m. burn law takes effect Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The law states that it is unlawful to burn before 4 p.m. from Feb. 15 through April 30 each year if the fire is in, or within, 300 feet of woodland, brush land or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material.

"The mild winter worries us," said Nelson Jarvis, Virginia Department of Forestry technician in Gloucester. He said the rain the area has had has helped the situation a little, but until things green up, it doesn’t take long for the surface to catch fire.

While overseeing a controlled burn in Middlesex last week, Jarvis said the fire burned well into the woods. "It never surprises me how quick things dry out on top and (f...

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