Thursday October 8, 2009
A fire Thursday afternoon in southern Albemarle County had people in Charlottesville keeping an eye to the skies. Officials with the state Department of Forestry say the smoke that drifted as far north as Fashion Square Mall was simply the result of a controlled burn along Plank Road.
Regional forester Ed Zimmer says everything is under control and that the burn was by the book. In the meantime, he warns that we're entering fall burn season and people burning debris on their own need to follow some simple guidelines.
"Look at the weather, both the weather at the time they're starting and the predicted weather for the rest of the burn period and just, kind of, take into account things like the winds, the humidity, the transport winds, which are the higher level winds which carry the smoke away," Zimmer suggested.
The reason forestry officials are putting that warning out there is that more than 95 percent of all wildfires are caused by people. After all the death and destruction over the past few months in California, officials don't want any part of that here in central Virginia.
October 8, 2009
Fire officials tell CBS19 smoky air and a strong smell of smoke in Charlottesville and Albemarle County is from a controlled burn off of Plank Road in Albemarle County.
CBS19 has been getting several calls from viewers inquiring about the smoky air outside.
The Department of Forestry is in charge of the recommended controlled forest burn. They say the agent in charge has had extensive training on how and when to do the controlled fire. Officials say the timing has to do with weather conditions. Because Thursday is a clear, calm day with not much wind, there's less risk the burn could go out of control.
We'll have the latest developments on the CBS19 News at 5 pm, and here on newsplex.com
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