Out of state and even Virginia visitors to our Virginia Department of Forestry.
Marshmallows around the fire
Obviously your evening campfire in the campsite's or cabin's fire pit is okay since those are traditionally well after dark and thus between the allowed 4 p.m. and midnight. Unfortunately, eggs and bacon over the campfire ring or burgers and dogs for lunch are outside of the allowed time.
There are two exceptions though that can be used to enjoy your breakfast and lunch options. Gas grills are allowed and also charcoal grills. So the pedestal grills we have in our parks are allowed with charcoal or you can bring your own charcoal grill. Unfortunately you still cannot use charcoal in our fire rings.
not allowed allowed
So what's this law all about anyway?The 4 p.m. Law was adopted during the 1940's to reduce the number of wildfires which occurred each spring. During this time of the year, Virginia traditionally has an increased number of fires. Winds are usually elevated, the relative humidity is lower and the fuels on the forest floor are extremely dry, having "cured" without having the tree leaves to shade them.After 4 p.m., winds usually calm down and the relative humidity levels are on the increase, both of which reduce the potential for a debris fire or any outdoor open air fire to escape your control.
It is important to remember that the fire threat during this time is significant soyou must take proper care and precaution by clearing all flammable material from around the charcoal or gas grill and you must stay with it until it is completely extinguished or turned off aswhoever started the fire is responsible should the fire escape.