MILFORD—Wet weather will soon be replaced by March winds that will create dry conditions and increased fire risks.
The Caroline County Department of Fire and Rescue reminds residents that the annual spring statewide outdoor burning restrictions will begin on Feb. 15th.
Each year, from Feb 15 to April 30, the Virginia Department of Forestry enacts regulations prohibiting open burning before 4 p.m. each day if the fire is in or within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials. All burning during this period must end by midnight. All burns must be attended.
Caroline County also has year-round ordinances that apply to open burning. In Caroline, residents are allowed to burn yard waste (leaves, trimmings, etc.). Residents burning within 300 feet of an occupied structure must obtain the neighbors’ permission before burning. Additionally, residents must notify the county’s 911 dispatch center at 804-633-5555. This notification reduces the likelihood of false alarm responses by fire companies. No burn permits are required for open residential burning.
Larger burns of debris waste from property maintenance or construction are also allowed. The responsible parties may burn provided they are at least 500 feet from any occupied building. Residents burning within 500 feet of an occupied structure must obtain the occupants’ prior permission. They must also notify the county’s 911 dispatch center. They must obtain an open burn permit from the Caroline County Department of Planning prior to burning. There is no charge for this permit. A representative from the department of fire and rescue will visit and evaluate the site and offer advice for safe burning.
At no time may citizens openly burn such items as old tires, used oil, roofing shingles, or other petroleum based materials. These items give off toxic fumes and pollute waterways.
For more information on open burning, contact the Department of Fire-Rescue & Emergency Management at 804-633-9831.