ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Despite the rain this week, many counties across southwest Virginia are keeping their burn bans in place.
Experts from the National Weather Service said most of the area still needs about 10 inches of rain.
“People began to start burning and say ‘because we’re getting rain, it’s okay to burn,'” said Montgomery County emergency manager Neal Turner. “It’s still not okay to burn.”
Just a few inches underground, conditions remain dry and conducive to spreading fire. Just days ago, Carroll County first responders battled a fire that was almost entirely underground.
On Wednesday, 28 emergency managers and other first responders from counties across the region met to discuss preparation and response if wildfires were to strike Virginia.
Roanoke County lifted its burn ban Wednesday, although burning does require a permit there. Montgomery County leaders said they hope to lift their ban by late next week.