CHARLESTON — The West Virginia spring fire season opened March 1 and continues through Friday, May 31. During fire season, outdoor burning is limited to the hours between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.
To remind more residents about the limited burn season, West Virginia Division of Forestry (WV DOF) has posted a new WV Fire Prevention video online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d6B_KDo5HA&feature=youtu.be. In the one-minute film, Assistant State Forester Don Kelley talks about conditions that affect fire risk and who to contact when in doubt whether burning conditions are safe.
The restriction limits outdoor burning to evening hours when cooler temperatures, increased humidity and calmer winds reduce the risk of a fire escaping. The state’s forests are most vulnerable to fire in fall and in spring, when trees have no leaves to protect the ground cover from drying out.
The WV DOF reports that debris burning ranks as the state’s second most common cause of fires, behind arson.
The WV DOF provides a summary of forest fire laws on its website at www.wvforestry.com/firelaws.cfm.
The fire safe law includes:
• No burning from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Fires must always be attended.
• Before leaving any fire for any length of time, the fire must be completely extinguished.
• Clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire and make sure the area is clear of all burnable material.
• If your fire escapes, you are liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may cause.
• Violation of the burning law is punishable by a fine up to $1,000.
The Division of Forestry protects nearly 12 million acres of forestland across West Virginia. For more information on fire safety and programs such as forest legacy, logging and landowner assistance, visit http://www.wvforestry.com.