Chesterfield Co. open fire season begins this week

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County says it's okay to take this pile of sticks and burn it, but a permit is required depending on the size of the fire.

"In Chesterfield, you can do a camping fire or a warming cooking fire without a permit," said Captain Keith Chambers with the Chesterfield Co. Fire Department.

Everything else: the burning of garden trimmings, construction debris and bonfires requires the approval of this application at least 15 days before the burn date, and even then, there are restrictions.

"But it has to be clean wood only. We won't allow anyone to burn furniture, or trash or that type of material or any petroleum based materials," Chambers said.

Laurye Nestohr is ready for Thursday.

"Burning is great, as long as you're following the right codes," said Laurye.

This will be the 3rd year she's taken advantage of her 10 and a half acres of land.

"We burn our cardboards, some yucky wood that's fallen debris on our property, some straw, goat droppings- things around those lines, no plastic or things that are hazardous," she said.

However, fellow resident Stephanie Coppola can do without the smoldering scenery.

"I just don't like to burn things, I'll just throw it in the trash," Stephanie said.

And depending on the weather, throwing debris away may be safer too.

"Well we ask everybody to just use common sense. If it an extremely dry day or the wind conditions are too great for you to burn, just have some common sense and don't burn that day," said Chambers.

The permits run 30 or 90 days. Even after approval, firefighters will make house calls to make sure an extinguisher is present and the fire is being monitored.

"We do go out and survey the site and make sure the material you are burning is legal and if we get any complaints we'll follow up with 100% of the complaints," he said.

Chesterfield residents who want to burn sticks, tree limbs, brush, or garden trimmings should contact the Fire and Life Safety Division at 804-748-1426. They can also inquire about permits by e-mailing the fire marshal's office.

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