SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Summer burn ban in Suffolk is now in effect until September 30.

Suffolk residents will not be able to do open air burning under the burn ban which includes all types of burning from burning in a barrel to commercial land clearing operations. The use of special incineration devices is also included.

Those who fail to comply with the burn ban could get finef of up to $2,500 and one year in jail as well as a bill for extinguishing the fire.

Suffolk currently has bulk pickup service to remove yard debris or to carry the debris to a local landfill for disposal. In cases where large quantities of debris are involved, property owners may want to consider hiring a contractor to remove the debris.

Commercial fire pits, fire bowls and chimineas are considered recreational fires by City Code and do not require a permit.

For additional information, CLICK HERE, or contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 757-514-4550.

The begining of he burn ban coincides with National Arson Awareness Week, recognized from May 1 through May 7.

This year’s theme, set by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), is, “Arson in Homeless Communities: Engagement – Education – Outreach” with the goal to provide information on arson as it relates to our nation’s homeless population.

Below are prevention safety guidelines to help reduce the risk of arson:

  • Keep your home safe by regularly inspecting it for fire hazards, having working smoke alarms on every level, and inside and outside all sleeping areas. Keep your family safe by planning and practicing your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep combustibles including leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery away from buildings.
  • Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. Board up abandoned buildings. Do not use double cylinder deadbolt locks without keeping a key nearby, bars without quick release mechanisms, or other security provisions that could trap a person in a building with a deadly fire.
  • Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to the Suffolk Police Department.
  • Store all flammable liquids such as; paints, gasoline, and mowers in an approved storage location: locked cabinets, locked storage units, and locked garages (prevent access to kids). Also, keep flammable liquids away from heat sources such as furnaces and any type of heaters.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach and out of sight of young children. Teach your child that fire is dangerous. Even small fires can spread very quickly. Fire is a tool, not a toy, and must only be used by adults. If you suspect a child is setting fires, notify the Suffolk Fire & Rescue Fire Prevention Bureau so that trained officials can provide educational and intervention assistance before potential life-threatening problems occur.
  • If you know or suspect that an arson crime has been committed, contact Suffolk Fire & Rescue and the Suffolk Police Department.