The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has issued a reminder notice that open burning is restricted between Feb. 15 and April 30.
County regulations prohibit open air fires — or open burning, as it is commonly referred to — between the hours of midnight and 4 p.m., and are enforced by the Virginia Department of Forestry and Loudoun County Fire Marshal. Known as the “4 p.m. law,” these restrictions are in place to mitigate the potential for the rapid spread of fire as a result of dry outdoor fuels, high winds and temperature increases that may be present in the late winter and early spring.
During the restricted period, county residents may not conduct open burning between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, subject to other restrictions. Open burning is prohibited at all times in the Towns of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill and in areas of Loudoun County that are part of a subdivision. Where open burning is allowed, it is limited to leaves, tree, yard and garden trimmings generated on premises and must not be done within fifty feet of any structure.
Persons conducting open burning must contact the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 prior to igniting a fire and when it ends. Fires may not be added to after midnight. Persons are responsible for ensuring that the fire is maintained under control and that it is attended to by a competent adult, 18 years of age or older, with provisions immediately available to extinguish the fire if necessary.
Anyone who violates the fire code could be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.