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Emergency fire ban announced

Due to a raised wildfire threat level in Virginia, Suffolk’s fire marshal has announced an emergency ban on all open burning through Wednesday.

This ban comes after officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry raised the wildfire threat level to Class 4 (very high) for the eastern third of the state.

Above-average temperatures, low humidity and elevated winds already had left areas of the state ripe for wildfires during the past four days — and a number of fires burned several hundred acres over the weekend — but with temperatures expected to exceed 90 degrees Wednesday, the threat level was raised to Class 4.

Under Class 4 conditions, fires start easily from all causes, including cigarettes tossed out of car windows, and spread rapidly and with great intensity. Fires that burn in light fuels, such as grass, pine needles, leaves and twigs, may quickly develop high-intensity characteristics, including long-distance spot fires and fire whirlwinds.

Conditions will be evaluated on Thursday to determine if the ban will be lifted

For more information on how to protect yourself and your property contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 757-514-7540.