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Brush fire burns woods, threatens Henrico homes

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 16:17:15-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The cause of an afternoon brush fire remains under investigation by Henrico Fire investigators. The fire, which was reported at about 12:41 p.m., burned about an acre of woods near Lourdes Road and Lydell Drive.

“First arriving units were on scene in seven minutes and reported a brush fire in the woods about an acre in size and moving toward houses. Fire crews moved quickly to contain the fire and prevent it from involving any structures,” Henrico Fire spokesman Capt. Danny Rosenbaum said. “The extinguishment of the fire was hampered by the terrain and wind conditions. It took just over an hour to bring the fire under control and six fire apparatus were assigned to the call for service.”

The fire department used this fire to remind everyone that Virginia remained under a burn ban until April 30.

“Current conditions of low humidity, mild winds, and plenty of dried fuel on the woodland floor can allow for brush fires to spread quickly and get out of control,” Rosenbaum said. “Over the past week Henrico Fire has seen seven similar calls for service.”

Firefighters asked smokers to use extreme caution when discarding cigarettes.

Cigarettes and other smoking materials that are not properly extinguished can smolder for hours before igniting a fire. These fires can start when plant pots are used as ashtrays or cigarette butts are carelessly thrown on the ground.

Every year, fires started with smoking materials occur in Henrico County. These fires not only cause millions of damage, they also needlessly risk lives. In some cases, lives have been lost.

Citizens who smoke can help Henrico Fire protect life, property and the environment by always using an ashtray to extinguish their cigarettes:

Always extinguish smoking materials in deep, non-combustible ashtrays.
Make sure that matches and cigarette butts in ashtrays are wet before you put them in a garbage container.
Never extinguish smoking materials in plant pots.
Never discard smoking materials on the ground.
Keep lighters, matches and cigarettes out of the reach of children.