Grass Fire Ignites Near Elkton

Wildfires can ignite easily this time of year.

Photo from Rockingham County First Alert

ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Wildfires can ignite easily this time of year.

This is especially true when you start fires before 4 p.m. on days when particular conditions are present.

The three conditions that you need for wildfires to start and to spread can occur in the Valley.

They include: clear skies, relatively warm conditions and wind.

The fire marshal is investigating how the fire shown in this photo, shared with us via Rockingham County First Alert , began Sunday afternoon in the 17000 block of Sapling Ridge Road.

The Virginia Department of Forestry said a statewide outdoor burning law is in effect until the end of April because of fires like this.

That law applies to fires within a football field's length of the woods or fields with dry grass on warm windy days.

With the weather conditions we're experiencing, those in the firefighting business know all too well how quickly things can get out of control.

"Even if you have a half-acre grass fire, an acre grass fire, you tie up two or three fire departments and some other emergency responders on that. If we can prevent that, they can be available to do other things," explained Mike Armstrong. He's the Deputy Fire Marshal with Rockingham County's Fire & Rescue Department.

If a fire does break out as a result of your illegal burning, you could be facing fines up to $500 and have to pay for the cost of any of the damages that might result.


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