TAZEWELL, Va. — Hot and dry conditions have prompted Tazewell County officials to impose a burn ban.

County Administrator Eric Young imposed the ban Sept. 12 under a section of the state code that allows the director of emergency management to do so. Section 44-146.21 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, permits the Director of Emergency Management (the County Administrator) to make a burn ban effective for 45 days or until the next scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting, whichever comes first.

The supervisors will hold their next meeting Oct. 1 and the matter will be on the agenda for that meeting.  Young’s order came just hours after the Tazewell Town Council approved a ban on burning in town.

Fire Chief Jason Hodge said the department had already responded to a brush fire that could have gotten out of hand if members had not been at the station and gotten to it quickly.   Young said the county departments had also dealt with brush and forest fires.

Robert Beasley, with the National Weather Service Office in Blacksburg, said the area normally receives 3.59 inches of rain in August and this year’s total was 2.84.  Beasley said the area received 5.44 inches of rain in August of last year.

Beasley said the rainfall over the last 30 days and has varied with the center of the county being the driest and the most rainfall in the area bordering Smyth County.  The resolution bans all open air burning in the county.

The resolution also cites unseasonbly high temperatures as a factor in increasing the potential for fires. The board could lift the ban at its next meeting or continue it indefinitely.

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