Two brush fires extinguished Friday

Published 9:50 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

Spring wildfire season started inauspiciously on Friday, as firefighters in Suffolk battled two brush fires on its first day.

Firefighters said a brush fire in the 1100 block of Pitchkettle Road that burned two acres of grass was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette by a surveying crew working nearby.

The fire was reported at 11:40 a.m., and the first units arrived on scene at 11:45 a.m., according to a city press release. Due to the location of the fire, brush trucks and crews had to pull a number of lines and hoses to manually extinguish the fire, the release stated.

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No structures were in danger, and there were no injuries.

Later in the evening, units extinguished a brush fire in the 7200 block of Indian Trail that burned 2.5 acres, according to a Facebook post by the Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue. The call came in at 4:29 p.m. They were assisted by the Carrsville Fire Department. The cause of that fire is still under investigation, city spokesman Andy Franklin said Friday evening.

Feb. 15 was the first day of Virginia’s 75-day spring wildfire season, which lasts until April 30. The state’s 4 p.m. burn law is in effect. It prohibits burning before 4 p.m. if the fire is in or within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials. Open burning with a permit is allowed from 4 p.m. to midnight only.

According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, 95 percent of all wildfires in Virginia are caused by humans; more than half are caused by people burning trash and yard debris.

For more information on the burn law, call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 514-4550 or email the office at fireprevbureau@suffolkva.us.