Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hot and Dry in Virginia

It's been two weeks since Governor McDonnell warned Virginians about the dangers of fire during our hot, dry summer. The threat continues to be a real one.

The eastern portion of Virginia shows KBDI above 600, and central Virginia is above 500. The dry conditions and lack of forecast rain have prompted many localities to enact burn bans to reduce wildfire risk.

Open burning isn't our only potential cause of wildfire. Machinery operating in brown grass or dry fields can produce a spark that will ignite that material. Pay attention when welding; using farm equipment; towing trailers or vehicles or doing any activity that can cause sparks. The Charlottesville Newsplex reported today that "a farmer was driving his tractor, collecting what hay he could for himself and the landowner" when a 75-acre fire resulted from that activity. The fire occured in Fluvanna County.

Do what you can to reduce wildfires - check to see if there's a burn ban for your area. Always notify your local law enforcement or fire department when you burn. Stay with your fire at all times. Have a fully-charged hose, a rake, wet towels and a bucket of water with you when burning.