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The original item was published from 2/18/2023 4:05:00 PM to 3/24/2023 4:40:43 PM.

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Posted on: February 15, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Virginia Department of Forestry - 4:00 P.M. Burning Law in Effect Through April 30th

Virginia 4 PM Burning Law

The 4:00 PM Burning Law specifies:

  • No burning until AFTER 4:00 p.m. February 15 through April 30 of each year, if the fire is in or within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or field containing dry grass or other flammable material.
  • Fire shall not be left unattended if within 150 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass.
  • No new fires set, no fuel added, or fire rekindled after midnight.
  • Law applies to campfires, warming fires, brush piles, leaves, household trash, stumps, fields of broomstraw and brush or anything capable of spreading fire.
  • The law provides for a penalty of up to $500, plus payment of court costs and fire suppression costs if the fire escapes.

For questions or more information about the 4:00 p.m. Burning Law contact the local Virginia Department of Forestry office at (540.967.3702) or Goochland County Fire-Rescue (804.556.5304).

Virginia 4 PM Burning Law

If You Must Burn...Follow these Fire Safety Tips

  • Contact your local fire department or Virginia Department of Forestry office.
  • Beware of power lines, trees, and structures.
  • Clear all flammable materials, such as dry leaves and dry grass, from around the fire.
  • Have water and hand tools, such as a shovel and/or rake, available.
  • Have communication available or have someone nearby who can call for help in case of an emergency.
  • Burn when the humidity is high, and the wind is calm.
  • Burn between 4:00 p.m. and midnight. The 4 PM Burning Law is in effect from February 15 through April 30.
  • Stay with the fire until it is completely out.
  • Keep your debris piles small, adding to them as they burn down. 
  • If you are using a burn barrel, make sure the barrel is in good condition and covered with a wire mesh screen.  Clear all dry grass and weeds from around the barrel (at least 10 feet of clearance).

Citizens are reminded and strongly encouraged to consult the open burning regulations for Goochland County before conducting any open burning year-round.  Prior to all open burning, the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office must be notified at (804) 556-5349 with the location and times of the burning. 

A summary of the open burning regulations is available on Goochland County Fire-Rescue and Emergency Services webpage at  If you have any questions regarding open burning, please contact the Goochland County Fire-Rescue and Emergency Services Office of the Fire Marshal at (804) 556-5365.

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VA Department of Forestry - Outdoor Fire Laws
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