Fire official demonstrates exactly how quickly fire can spread on spring days

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 18:52:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Thursday's weather brought high winds and low humidity, two factors which increase the risk for brush fires in the area.

On Thursday, in a secure area, Lt. Chris Armstrong with the Richmond Fire Department showed CBS 6 just how easy a single cigarette can spread.

This time of year is peak season for brush fires. Lt. Armstrong said improperly discarded cigarettes are the leading cause of these fires.

"When you toss that out into the element you may have some old leaves and old brush, those things can easily ignite," Armstrong said.

Armstrong and fire officials want people to be aware.

"If you're going to smoke, discard your cigarette inside you own car in the ash tray properly," he said, "never throw it out of the window."

Carrie Hoffman says she is someone who smokes, but said with this kind of weather, she's extra careful when it comes to throwing out her cigarettes.

"I'm trying not to smoke in the car," she said "I try to smoke before I leave home and make sure my ash tray is empty or has a cover on it."

On Wednesday night, firefighters battled a brush fire on Richmond's Belle Isle that continued into Thursday morning.

The cause is still under investigation.

However, it's a reminder how difficult it is to fight these brush fires.