What to Know to Prevent Wildfires

NEW MARKET, Va. (WHSV) -- With a wildfire still burning in West Virginia, how easily could something similar happen close to your home?

Conditions are very dry right now in the Shenandoah Valley; everything from the surface to all the leaves on the ground.

All it could take is someone throwing a lit cigarette out the window, or maybe dumping hot ashes from a grill after camping to start the type of wildfire that's burning in Pendleton County.

Joe Lehnen with Virginia's Department of Forestry said we have been lucky to have avoid more wildfires this season.

Not only is it very dry, but due to more people heading out to hike and hunt in the area, there's a greater risk of a fire starting by accident.

Things like cigarettes, ashes and campfires can start massive wildfires, so it's crucial for everyone to be smart this time of year when being outside.

"The temperatures are going to be increasing over the next few days. There will probably be more people out, more people burning. Consequently, we could definitely see increased fire activity over the next few days," said Lehnen.

Lehnen also said to be mindful of doing things like dumping ashes in the woods because things are so dry right now.

That threat for wildfires in the Shenandoah Valley is expected to last through the weekend.

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