Crews Battle Brush Fires Amid Open Burn Law

FRANKLIN COUNTY – Local fire departments have been busy fighting several small brush fires in the area over the weekend into Monday.

The latest brush fire was reported Monday morning on State Route 662, Old Salem School Road, according to county dispatch.

Virginia’s Open Burn Law continues through April 30. The law prohibits open burning before 4 p.m. if the fire is within 300 feet of woods or brush, or any other flammable material.

The main factor this time of the year is relative humidity. During the late winter and early spring, temperatures warm way up during the day — today will be around 70 — but the amount of moisture remains low until later in the summer.

Put another way, air can only hold so much moisture. Cooler air holds less moisture. So warming temperatures with the same amount of moisture create very low relative humidity.

The low humidity combined with breezy conditions as storm systems move in and out of the area, can make for ideal conditions for brush fires.

Ignition sources are often caused by people: throwing out stove ashes with hot coals hidden inside of the pile, lit cigarettes, sparks from trains, etc.

Some rain is in the forecast Tuesday into Wednesday, but the activity will be scattered, not a soaking rain.

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