Virginia’s Spring Fire Season Burn Ban, also known as the “4 p.m. Burning Law” went into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Specifically, the law prohibits burning except between the hours of 4 p.m. and 12 midnight every day from February 15 through April 30 if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
Botetourt County residents are asked to use extreme caution when burning during this critical period. Seasonal winds dry out surface and grass fuels that have accumulated over the winter and greatly increase the danger of wildfire. Outdoor burning at any time should be avoided.
Virginia law mandates that anyone who is burning anything outdoors (any time of the year and any time of the day) must take prior precautions to prevent the fire from spreading, and completely extinguish the fire before leaving it. A violation of this law is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition to the criminal violation, those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire as well as any damage caused to others’ property.
Any Botetourt County resident that chooses to burn any time of the year is encouraged to notify the Botetourt County Emergency Communications Center at 473-8631 prior to burning. Detailed information about the 4 p.m. burning law can be found on the Virginia Department of Forestry’s website http://www.dof.virginia.gov.