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Virginia Department of Forestry: Forest Fire Season Comes Early

Nelson County Wildfire
File Photo: Nelson County Wildfire. (Photo: Virginia Department of Forestry)

The Virginia Department of Forestry is preparing for what they say could be a severe fall wildfire season across the state.  As of Monday, October 7th, more than 29 localities have already enacted county-wide bans on all outdoor burning.

Multiple localities have had an outdoor burning ban in effect since last Thursday, and that isn’t even the worst part.

"We are entering the fall fire season drier than we have been in the last 20 years," said Fred Turck, Virginia Department of Forestry. "The potential for an increased number of fires and more dangerous fires is significant."

But he says just hot and dry in itself is not the problem.

"It’s the people who are starting the fires."

But mostly not on purpose.

"Something as simple as cutting your grass and have your mower hit a rock and causing a spark."

Dry leaves are falling, making it worse.  Forecast for at least the next 6-10 days is dry, and doesn’t get much better through the end of the month.

"We would just ask citizens to be extra careful when being outside."

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