Thursday, October 24, 2013

Find Fall Color Off The Beaten Path

Visitors come from near and far to admire Virginia’s autumn splendor. Some of our foresters have developed local scenic driving tours as an alternative to well-known, and well-traveled, locations.

The self-guided driving directions offer spectacular views in some of our most picturesque countryside. Scenic driving tours are listed for the following areas:

  • Charlottesville and Culpeper Area: counties of Greene and Madison
  • Harrisonburg area: counties of Rockingham and Shenandoah
  • Lexington area: Bath County
  • Roanoke area: counties of Bedford, Craig and Franklin
  • Staunton area: Highland County
To learn more about the fall foliage season in Virginia, and access or print driving directions, visit

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Fire Season Now Underway

As temperatures begin to dip and the leaves on the trees begin to change color, it’s time once again for the start of fall wildfire season in the Commonwealth. Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) remind all Virginians that the threat of wildfire increases each autumn as leaves dry out and fall from trees, grasses turn brown, humidity levels drop and winds increase.

“Wildfires are directly linked to weather conditions,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at VDOF. “Whether it’s someone burning debris or trash, an unattended campfire or an intentional case of arson, wildfires have a greater chance of causing bodily harm or property damage in the fall and spring months because the conditions are right for fires to burn hotter and spread faster.”

Each year, Virginia experiences more than 1,200 wildfires that burn more than 10,000 acres of land. VDOF employees annually protect hundreds of homes from the ravages of wildfires, but each year there are always some homes that are destroyed by these wildfires.

Miller said, “Since more than 95 percent of wildfires that occur in Virginia are the result of human activity, taking even the simplest precautions with outdoor fires will significantly reduce the occurrence of wildfires and the threat to you and your neighbors.”

Fall Fire Season runs annually from October 15 to November 30.