Virginia state officials: Crews battle nearly 130 wildfires, 690 acres scorched

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — State forestry officials are urging the public not to burn debris as crews have responded to nearly 130 wildfires since Friday as high winds whipped across Virginia.

In fact, Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) crews have been called to 127 fires that scorched 690 acres across the state.

Officials said crews have protected at least 78 homes from the fires, CBS 6 reported.

“This high-risk season is made even more serious by the extreme weather conditions we’ve seen these past few days,” VDOF Fire and Emergency Response Director John Miller said. “It’s important for people to be more aware of this elevated fire risk and to take more precautions than they otherwise might.”

Officials said most wildfires are caused by people burning debris, so it is critical for people to follow the law that prohibits open burning between midnight and 4 p.m. each day starting Feb. 15.

While burning is allowed between 4 p.m. and midnight, VDOF officials urged folks to avoid burning during these extreme conditions.

“Wildfires are very dangerous,” VDOF Fire Prevention Manager Fred Turck said. “Under such windy conditions, a wildfire can grow very quickly and be unpredictable. Even a small wildfire can destroy natural resources, homes and other buildings, and wildfires put Virginians and their firefighters in danger.”

VDOF firefighters have responded to fires in the counties of:

  • Albemarle
  • Amherst
  • Amelia
  • Appomattox
  • Bedford
  • Botetourt
  • Buckingham
  • Campbell
  • Caroline
  • Charles City
  • Charlotte
  • Chesterfield
  • Clark
  • Culpeper
  • Cumberland
  • Essex
  • Fauquier
  • Floyd
  • Fluvanna
  • Frederick
  • Gloucester
  • Green
  • Greensville
  • Halifax
  • Hanover
  • Henry
  • James City
  • King & Queen
  • King William
  • Louisa
  • Lunenburg
  • Madison
  • Mecklenburg
  • Nelson
  • New Kent
  • Nottoway
  • Orange
  • Rappahannock
  • Rockingham
  • Pittsylvania
  • Powhatan
  • Pulaski
  • Shenandoah
  • Spotsylvania
  • Stafford
  • Warren
  • Westmorland
  • Wythe

A National Weather Service Fire Weather Warning remains in effect for most of Central and Eastern Virginia Sunday. If you spot a fire, call 911.