Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 11. Forest Resources and the Department of Forestry
11/29/2020

Article 8. Fire Hazards and Closing of Hunting and Fishing Seasons in Forestlands.

§ 10.1-1158. Prohibition of all open burning where serious fire hazards exist; penalty.

It shall be unlawful when the forestlands, brushlands and fields in this Commonwealth or any part thereof have become so dry as to create a serious fire hazard endangering lives and property, for any persons to do any open burning nearer than 300 feet from any such forestlands, brushlands or fields containing dry grass or other flammable material.

This article shall not be effective until the Governor, upon recommendation of the State Forester, proclaims such a condition to exist in this Commonwealth or any part thereof, and it shall be in effect until the Governor proclaims such condition to have terminated.

It shall be the duty of all authorized law-enforcement officers of the Commonwealth, counties, and municipalities to enforce the provisions of this section.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for each separate offense.

1986, c. 188, § 27-54.5; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1159. Upon proclamation of Governor certain acts made unlawful where extraordinary fire hazards exist; closing of hunting and fishing seasons.

Upon proclamation of the Governor, it shall be unlawful, when the forestlands, brushlands and fields in the Commonwealth or any part thereof have become so dry as to create an extraordinary fire hazard endangering lives and property, for any person, except the owner, tenant or owner's authorized agent, persons regularly engaged in cutting, processing, or moving forest products, or person on official duty, to enter or travel in any state, county, municipal or private forestlands, brushlands, marshland, fields or idle or abandoned lands in the area so affected except on public highways or well-defined private roads. During such period hunting and fishing seasons shall be closed, except hunting of migratory waterfowl and fishing as hereinafter provided, on all land and water within the Commonwealth or any geographical part thereof affected by proclamation. It shall further be unlawful during such periods for any person to hunt or fish except as hereinafter provided, smoke, burn leaves, grass, brush or debris of any type or to ignite or maintain any open fire nearer than 300 feet from any such forestlands, brushlands or fields containing inflammable vegetation or marshland adjoining such forestlands, brushlands, fields or idle or abandoned lands.

It shall not be unlawful to fish or hunt migratory waterfowl from a boat, or from a blind entirely surrounded by water and reached by a boat, or on nonforested islands at least 300 feet from the mainland shore and reached by a boat, when the boat embarks from and lands at established boat landings, and at no other time touches shore nearer than 300 feet from any forestlands, brushlands, or fields containing inflammable vegetation or marshland adjoining such areas.

It shall be the duty of all authorized law-enforcement officers of the Commonwealth, counties and municipalities to enforce the provisions of this section.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor for each separate offense.

1954, c. 134, § 27-54.1; 1964, c. 65; 1966, c. 302; 1986, c. 188; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1160. Effect of proclamation on hunting season.

When any proclamation is issued pursuant to § 10.1-1158 during any open hunting season (with the exception of any season on migratory birds or waterfowl, the limits of which are prescribed by any agency of the federal government), or when the opening date of any such hunting season occurs while such proclamation is effective, the season, if open, may be extended by the Governor for a period not exceeding the number of legal hunting days during which such proclamation is in effect, beginning on the first legal hunting day after the expiration of the season. If the season is not open, it may open beginning on the first legal hunting day after such proclamation is rescinded and remain open for a period not exceeding the prescribed length of the season.

1954, c. 134, § 27-54.2; 1972, c. 150; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1161. Notice of issuance, amendment or rescission of proclamation.

When any proclamation is issued, amended or rescinded the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall promptly give notice thereof through a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the area or areas affected. In addition, the Secretary may, in his discretion, give such additional notice as he deems necessary.

Code 1950, § 10-75; 1952, c. 417; 1956, c. 75; 1988, c. 891.