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Now that leaves are falling, we’re into one of the most dangerous times of the year for accidentally starting wildfires.  WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.

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It happens every fall when the foliage dries up, even if it’s usually not intended.  Chris Thomsen, a Salem-based Assistant Regional Forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, says debris burning that spreads out of control is the number one cause of Virginia wildfires. He says it’s a really bad idea to even think about it on a windy fall day — and a good idea to have a rake, shovel and water around if you do burn. Another big cause is discarded wood stove ashes. Thomsen says they should go a metal can, mixed with water and never discarded unless cool to the touch.