Forestry Officials Concerned with Fire Risk Despite Rain - abc27 WHTM

Forestry Officials Concerned with Fire Risk Despite Rain


Amherst, VA - Fire officials are concerned by the threat of high winds in the forecast, despite Wednesday's rain.

The Virginia Department of Forestry says it's a misconception that a brush fire will not start after it rains. The department says if rain is followed by strong wind, the top layer of the ground dries quickly. Dry surface fuels, like grass and leaves, can burn quickly and out of control.

There have been ten reported brush fires in Bedford County since Sunday morning. There have also been brush fires this week in Amherst and Campbell Counties and in Lexington.

One of five new Virginia Department of Forestry brush trucks is based in Amherst. The truck was on standby for fires this week.

At the Amherst office Wednesday, the team went through a checklist to prepare for any fires that break out. That means checking vehicles and equipment.

The Department of Forestry is also contacting local volunteer fire departments making sure they're aware of the fire risk so they can get their equipment ready. Part-time forestry workers are being called to see if they're available if there is a fire.

Virginia's burn law is in effect. That means no open air burning before 4 p.m. and no adding to a fire past midnight.

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