Be careful smokers and grillers! There is an increased fire danger threat today

Posted at 7:17 AM, Mar 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-31 07:18:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The combination of low relative humidity (20 - 30 percent) and gusty southwest winds (30 miles per hour) will create an increased fire danger threat for much of Central Virginia on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

If you smoke or plan to grill on Tuesday, firefighters urge you take extra precautions.

"Please make sure that all cigarettes are completely extinguished and disposed of in a metal container. Do not discard them in the open brush, leaves, or mulch, even if you think they are out," Henrico Fire spokesman Capt. Dan Rosenbaum said. "Last year this time we had several fires that were started by disposed smoking materials that created significant property loss from the ensuing fire."

The statewide burn ban that went into effect on February 15 remains in place through April 30:

Virginia's burning law states from February 15 through April 30 of each year, no burning before 4 p.m. is permitted, if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material. Since forest fuels cure during the winter months, the danger of fire is higher in early spring than in summer when the forest and grasses are green with new growth. The 4 p.m. Burning Law is an effective tool in the prevention of forest fires. Localities may have more restrictive outdoor burning laws.