Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 11. Forest Resources and the Department of Forestry

Article 6.1. Certified Prescribed Burning Manager Program.

§ 10.1-1150.1. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Certified prescribed burn manager" means any person who has successfully completed a certification process established by the State Forester under § 10.1-1150.2.

"Prescribed burning" means the controlled application of fire or wildland fuels in either the natural or modified state, under specified environmental conditions, which allows a fire to be confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behavior and fire characteristics necessary to attain planned fire treatment and ecological, silvicultural, and wildlife management objectives.

"Prescription" means a written statement defining the objectives to be attained by a prescribed burning and the conditions of temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, fuel moisture, and soil moisture under which a fire will be allowed to burn. A prescription is generally expressed as an acceptable range of the prescription elements.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.2. State Forester to establish certification process.

The State Forester shall develop and administer a certification process and training course for any individual who desires to become a certified prescribed burn manager. The training program shall include the following subjects: the legal aspects of prescribed burning, fire behavior, prescribed burning tactics, smoke management, environmental effects, plan preparation, and safety. A final examination on these subjects shall be given to all attendees. The State Forester may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of the course and the examination.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.3. Voluntary certification.

To be certified as a prescribed burn manager, a person shall:

1. Successfully complete all components of the prescribed burn course developed by the State Forester and pass the examination developed for the course;

2. Successfully complete a training course comparable to that developed by the State Forester and pass the examination developed for Virginia's course; or

3. Demonstrate relevant past experience, complete a review course and pass the examination developed for Virginia's course.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.4. Prescribed burn elements.

Prescribed burning shall be performed in the following manner:

1. A prescription for the prescribed burn shall be prepared by a certified prescribed burn manager prior to the burn. The prescription shall include: (i) the landowner's name, address, and telephone number, and the telephone number of the certified prescribed burn manager who prepared the plan; (ii) a description of the area to be burned, a map of the area to be burned, the objectives of the prescribed burn, and the desired weather conditions or parameters; (iii) a summary of the methods to be used to start, control, and extinguish the prescribed burn; and (iv) a smoke management plan. The smoke management plan shall be based on guidelines presented in the Virginia Department of Forestry publication, "Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines for Virginia," and the U.S. Forest Service's technical publication, "A Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Forests." A copy of the prescription shall be retained at the site throughout the period of the burning;

2. Prescribed burning shall be conducted under the direct supervision of a certified prescribed burn manager, who shall ensure that the prescribed burning is in accordance with the prescription; and

3. The nearest regional office of the Virginia Department of Forestry shall be notified prior to the burn.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.5. Liability.

A. Any prescribed burning conducted in compliance with the requirements of this article, state air pollution control laws, and any rules adopted by the Virginia Department of Forestry shall be in the public interest and shall not constitute a nuisance.

B. Any landowner or his agent who conducts a prescribed burn in compliance with the requirements of this article, state air pollution control laws, and any rules adopted by the Virginia Department of Forestry shall not be liable for any damage or injury caused by or resulting from smoke.

C. Subsections A and B of this section shall not apply whenever a nuisance or damage results from the negligent or improper conduct of the prescribed burn or when the prescribed burn elements described in § 10.1-1150.4 have not been complied with.

1998, c. 156.

§ 10.1-1150.6. Revocation of certification.

If the actions of any certified prescribed burn manager or the prescriptions prepared by him violate any provision of this article, state air pollution control laws, or Virginia Department of Forestry rules or threaten public health and safety, his certification may be revoked by the State Forester.

1998, c. 156.