Governor Warns of Forest Fires
With virtually no rain for several weeks and temperatures regularly at triple digits, Governor McDonnell warned Virginians yesterday that conditions were ripe for forest fires. Charles Fishburne reports.
The Governor's in daily contact with the Department of Forestry, and they are worried.
Turk: It's the heat; it's 90-plus degrees weather we've been having for the last, you know, two weeks.
Fred Turk, Virginia Department of Forestry.
Turk: The lack of rainfall, those two combined, really increase the potential to have fires start.
Turk says the drought index from Richmond east is 600, double the normal this time of year, and just 200 away from desert-like conditions.
Turk: It basically says we need six inches of rain to get back to ground saturation.
Turk says you can help by not burning anything outside for now. Already about a dozen localities have imposed some kind of burning restrictions, and a statewide ban is a possibility.
Turk: That is on the table.
But so far, both the Governor and the State Forester would rather leave it to localities, and to you, to take precautions.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News
To learn more about Virginia’s wildfire laws, go to www.dof.virginia.gov