Remember – fireworks are illegal on National Forest lands

With Independence Day right around the corner, the Forest Service wants to remind all visitors to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to be safe this holiday weekend. 

Fireworks are prohibited on national forests and grasslands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Regulations are enforced and a violation is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. 

Wildfires normally occur in Virginia in the spring and fall seasons; however, major fires in January and July in recent years illustrate how wildfires are a year-round concern.  Two years ago, we fought a 2,000 acre fire on the George Washington and Jefferson on the Fourth of July.  This is a good reminder to the public that wildfires can occur in Virginia at any time of the year.

Approximately 95 percent of wildfires in Virginia are human caused.  Many of these fires are a direct result of improperly maintained campfires.  Visitors to the national forest who wish to build a campfire may do so in fire rings, stoves, or grills; however, it is each person’s responsibility to keep campfires under control.  Forest visitors are reminded to ensure that all campfires are extinguished and cold to the touch prior to leaving.

Enjoy your Fourth of July!

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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