Wildfire season brings up safety concerns

Published: Oct. 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2011 at 4:35 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The wildfire season is just days away. Richmond Fire Lieutenant Shawn Jones urges people to follow the burning laws as they get ready for the cooler weather and fall festivities.

"Halloween is a great time to roast marsh mellows or S' mores," said Lt. Jones. "We consider recreational burns small. You have to get a permit for that. There is no fee for recreational burns."

People must contact the Fire Marshal's office for more details if they want to hold a small recreational burn in the city. Burning large piles of debris is never allowed in Richmond.

"There are certain conditions but they certainly must have a permit from the Fire Marshal's office," Jones noted. "That permit is pretty stringent as far as what the requirements are."

Outlying areas like Chesterfield and Henrico do allow open burns but not during the burn ban which starts Saturday, October 15th and lasts through November 30th. People who have large brush piles are encouraged to drop them off at the nearest landfill or have them picked up.

"Err on the side of caution," Jones said. "You may burn brush. It may get out of hand and damage someone's property or kill somebody. Make sure you keep safety in mind and dispose of it in a more appropriate way."

The first week of October alone saw almost 800 wildfires, according to the Associated Press. People like lieutenant Jones want to prevent disasters and injuries before they happen.

People interested in holding a small, recreational burn in the city can call the Fire Marshal's office at: (804) 646-6640. The permit is free. They'll answer any other questions you may have.

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