The changing weather has sparked a 2022 statewide burn law that is in effect until April 30.
According to a press release from the Prince William County Fire & Rescue System, all approved burning – other than recreational – must occur from 4 p.m. to midnight. However, the burning requires a permit issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
In addition, all burning requires constant observation as well as a way to extinguish it. The Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office states that this applies but is not limited to bonfires.
The press release says that all open-air burning is prohibited before 4 p.m. if the fire is within 300 feet of highly flammable materials, natural and man-made.
In the release, the Fire & Rescue System details the dangers of burning before 4 p.m. The winds are higher, humidity is lower, and the “forest or field floor fuels are extremely dry” without leaves to shade them. After 4 p.m., the wind is calmer and humidity is higher, decreasing the chances of a fire spreading.
Any violations to this law are against the Virginia and County Code, and can lead to consequences, such as criminal misdemeanor charges, up to a year in jail, and a $2,500 fine.
For more information, please contact the Fire Marshal’s office at (703) 792-6360 or the county’s website.
This article is written by Contributing Writer Lily Brown.