VDOF Provides Fire Safety Tips for Start of Fall Wildfire Season in Virginia | WJHL

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WJHL) – Fall wildfire season in Virginia began on Saturday, October 15.

According to the release, burning debris is the leading cause of wildfires in Virginia. The VDOF has provided safety tips for burning garden debris:

  • Avoid burning on dry and windy days
  • Keep the pile of debris small
  • Have a rake or shovel handy
  • Keep a charged water hose nearby
  • Have a phone ready to call 911 if a fire gets out of control
  • Stay with your fire until it’s completely out (drown, stir, make sure it’s cold)
  • Consider a “green” alternative to burning yard debris: compost your organic garden waste for your garden or yard

“Virginia’s fall wildfire season runs from mid-October through November,” said VDOF Fire and Emergency Response Director John Miller. “As we see too often with natural disasters and emergencies, there is a long time to prepare before a crisis hits. Create a plan now that you can quickly implement if you need it.

When thinking about fire safety, the VDOF says to follow three simple words: Ready, Set, Go.

Ready: Create a family emergency plan.

  • Prepare an emergency kit, discuss and practice an escape plan with your family, maintain an emergency contact list, and organize a meeting place for your family if you are separated.

Adjust: Be prepared, watch weather conditions and news.

  • If there is a threat of wildfire, put your plan into action, alert family members/neighbors of approaching danger, fill your vehicle with important items (medicines, documents, clothing, etc.) and prepare your home by turning off gas and propane and turning on lawn sprinklers.

Go: Leave if asked to evacuate.

  • Have different travel routes to your pre-planned meeting area, carry an emergency kit, cell phones and chargers. Bring a three-day supply of food and water.

The VDOF reminds people that while there is no statewide 4 p.m. burning ban this fall, check with local firefighters for regional restrictions or bans.

To find out more about wildland fires and safety tips, visit wildlandfirersg.org or the VDOF website.