February 12, 2008
Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry have conducted investigations for several of the fires that began Sunday afternoon.
The largest fire in Louisa County, located at Freshwater Creek, burned 414 acres.
The fire on Holly Grove Drive, between Crewsville Road and West Chapel, is reported to have consumed 42 acres. The Frederick's Hall fire burned 33 acres. The fire on Louisa Road, approximately one quarter mile from Boswell's Tavern has been reported to have charred 56 acres.
The Department of Forestry is still investigating the Byrd Mill fire to determine the number of acres affected and stated that there were numerous other fires throughout Louisa County that ranged in size from one half acre to 10 acres.
There were multiple causes for the wildfires that burned Sunday evening. Downed power lines, trees on power lines, an electric fence, debris that was burned Saturday that flared Sunday because of the severe weather conditions are listed among the causes. One fire is under investigation as an arson fire.
The Department is saying the severe weather, with its high winds and exceptionally low relative humidity, were key ingredients for the severe fires seen Sunday.
Citizens are reminded that the Commonwealth's 4 p.m. Burning Law goes into effect on February 15. This law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. each day (Feb. 15 - April 30) if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brush land or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
If you are found guilty of violating one of the fire laws you could be charged with a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500 for each offense. The guilty person will also be charged with any cost incurred by the Department of Forestry for suppressing the fire.
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