Agency offers tips to protect property
By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
EDINBURG -- The leading cause of fires in Virginia is burning debris, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Stephanie Bushong said.
The National Weather Service continued a red flag fire warning for the region through 8 p.m. today.
"A combination of strong winds and low relative humidity will create rapid fire growth potential," the weather service's website says.
Bushong encouraged homeowners to clean debris from around their houses.
Bushong recommended tips from firewise.org.
According to the site, suggestions for when a wildfire is approaching include:
• Closing all windows, garage doors, other doors and vents, shutting drapes, shutters and blinds to keep out sparks.
• Keep a shovel, rake and hose handy, and fill buckets and other containers with water.
• Wet down a combustible roof.
• Turn off natural gas and butane at the tank or meter.
Firewise.org also says the home ignition zone is anywhere from 30 to 200 feet around the house. Thin or space vegetation, and remove dead leaves and needles, and keep trees and shrubs pruned, it says.