USA — The Virginia Department of Forestry says the number of wildland fires across the commonwealth increased by 16% between 2006 and 2007.
More than 1,500 wildland fires burned more than 11,000 acres of Virginia’s forests in 2007. That’s up from 1,301 wildland fires the year before. The department says 20 homes were damaged by wildland fires, up 43% from 2006 when 15 homes were damaged.
But the number of acres that burned dropped by 19%, from 13,763 in 2006 to 11,200 in 2007.
More than half of the acres burned in the 13-county area of in the southwestern corner of Virginia, where 6,487 acres burned in 262 fires. The department says that’s up from 227 fires burning 4,448 acres the year before.
More than 94% of last year’s wildland fires were caused by people.