Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) announced an extension of Fall Fire Season to December 10.
Since more than 95 percent of wildfires that occur in Virginia are the result of human activity, citizens are reminded to be cautious with outdoor fire. Following proper safety practices when disposing of hot ashes or burning debris will significantly reduce the occurrence of wildfires and the threat to you and your neighbors.
In November, officials say the agency responded to 73 fires which burned 1,133 acres. Firefighting personnel reported concerns related to fire supression, mop-up after fire containment, and the consumption of larger fuels.
“Looking ahead into December, we don’t see a significant break in the overall rainfall pattern and are, therefore, planning for continued fire activity,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at VDOF. “Extending our readiness level beyond fire season helps ensure our personnel availability for emergency fire response heading into early December.”
Weekly evaluations of conditions will determine if additional extensions are needed. the agency’s readiness and mobilization plan. VDOF personnel availability and response remain a high-priority during this time.
Fall Fire Season occurs October 15 to November 30 each year. Low relative humidity, high winds and outdoor activities involving fire increase the risk of wildfires at this time of year.
The Virginia Department of Forestry protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians. Headquartered in Charlottesville, the Agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide service to citizens of the Commonwealth. VDOF is an equal opportunity provider.
With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 144,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries, Virginia forests provide more than $27.5 Billion annually in benefits to the Commonwealth.