Loudoun County, Va. (February 17, 2015) – The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding citizens that open burning is restricted in Loudoun County between February 15 and April 30.
The regulations, which prohibit open air fires, or open burning as it is commonly referred to, between the hours of midnight and 4:00 p.m., are enforced by the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Loudoun County Fire Marshal.
Known as the “4:00 p.m. law,” these restrictions are in place due to the potential for rapid fire spread across woodland and grassland areas that is the result of dry outdoor fuels, high winds and temperature increases that are normally present in the late winter and early spring season.
During this period, residents may conduct open burning between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and midnight, subject to other restrictions. Open burning is prohibited at all times in the Towns of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill and in areas of Loudoun County that are part of a subdivision (urban or built up areas).
Where open burning is allowed, it is limited to leaves, tree, yard and garden trimmings generated on premises and must not be done within fifty feet of any structure.
Persons conducting open burning must contact the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 prior to igniting a fire and at the end of the burning. Fires may not be added to after midnight. Persons are responsible, at all times, to ensure the fire is maintained under control and that it is attended to by a competent adult, 18 years of age or older, with provisions immediately available to extinguish the fire if necessary.
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal may impose regulations, at any time, based upon complaint, atmospheric or other environmental circumstances, to restrict or extinguish any fire that is otherwise permitted according to these guidelines. Any person who violates the fire code could be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine up to $2,500.00 and up to a year in jail. Further, if convicted, a person may be required to compensate the locality for the full costs of fighting a fire.