As temperatures begin to dip and the leaves on the trees begin to change color, it’s time once again for the start of fall wildfire season in the Commonwealth. Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) remind all Virginians that the threat of wildfire increases each autumn as leaves dry out and fall from trees, grasses turn brown, humidity levels drop and winds increase.
“Wildfires are directly linked to weather conditions,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at VDOF. “Whether it’s someone burning debris or trash, an unattended campfire or an intentional case of arson, wildfires have a greater chance of causing bodily harm or property damage in the fall and spring months because the conditions are right for fires to burn hotter and spread faster.”
Each year, Virginia experiences more than 1,200 wildfires that burn more than 10,000 acres of land. VDOF employees annually protect hundreds of homes from the ravages of wildfires, but each year there are always some homes that are destroyed by these wildfires.
Miller said, “As more than 95 percent of wildfires that occur in Virginia are the result of human activity, taking even the simplest precautions with outdoor fires will significantly reduce the occurrence of wildfires and the threat to you and your neighbors.”