Dry Weather and Debris Creates Fire Hazard - WSET.com - ABC13

Dry Weather and Debris Creates Fire Hazard

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Reporter: Melinda Zosh

Amherst Co., VA - You don't have to look farther than your own neighborhood in a lot of areas to see fallen trees and limbs still on the ground.

Many may be tempted to burn their debris, but with all this dry weather, experts say that's not a good idea.

Brian Bryant's been all over Amherst County picking up fallen limbs. He picks up anywhere from two to eight loads a day then takes it to the Coolwell Convenience Center for drop off.

"It took an hour or so to load it but the unloading is the easy part," said Bryant.

He's doing it the right way, but safety officials in Amherst County worry some will do it the wrong way.

"Our concern with the department of forestry is that people will look to burn this debris as it starts to cure out," said Forester Bill Perry.

Perry is the Forester for Nelson, Campbell and Amherst counties. Part of his job is to keep a close eye on how wet the ground is.

"The drought index we use goes from 0 to 800. Through Charlottesville's about 400," said Perry.

Perry says the index is in normal range, but all the downed trees add extra risks.

"Another thing that's a problem for us is some of the trees still have some of the larger limbs hanging in the trees," said Gary Roakes, the Amherst County public safety director.

Roakes says it could take several more months to clear everything. As that clean up continues, his advice is whatever you do, don't burn the debris.

The Coolwell Convenience Center and the county landfill are the best places to take your debris. The center is open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Eventually, everything will return to normal and they'll be taking debris at the landfill only.

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