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Here’s a quick brush-up on burning rules for fall fire season from the Buckhannon Fire Department

BUCKHANNON – Fall fire season started Oct. 1 and will run through Dec. 31.

Buckhannon Fire Department career firefighter John Brugnoli said the burning hours for natural vegetation are from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and burning outside these hours may result in a fine up to $1,000 from the Department of Natural Resources.

“As always, you can only burn natural vegetation, brush, leaves and sticks. It can’t be any kind of processed wood. If it goes through any kind of process at all, it’s out of the question,” Brugnoli said. “When it goes through a process, it has glue and other contaminants the wood may have been dipped in, so when it burns, it puts off the gases, and we’re trying to save the ozone.”

If a resident lives in city limits, they must receive a burning permit from the Buckhannon Fire Department first.

“They’re free, so you can call, give us your address, we’ll come up and take a look at your pit just to make sure it’s legal and safe,” Brugnoli said.

He explained this time of year is a period for heavy brush fires because the leaves are falling and they are dry, making it easier to start a fire.

“Everybody always asks, ‘Why do they set the hours in the evening through the night,’ and that’s kind of a little thing that the forestry department has always let us in on, that’s one of the little tricks that they try to show us – when the dew falls, the fire won’t spread as fast,” Burgnoli said.

He said they have not responded to any brush fires yet, but the season is starting and all the dead leaves falling from the trees are extremely flammable.

“We always try to urge people, don’t flip cigarettes out your windows. Also, make sure you talk to your kids about not playing with matches and lighters and stuff like that,” Brugnoli said. “A lot of people try to mulch their leaves with their lawn mowers, so we have instances of people mulching leaves, mulching grass and the leaves are super dry, they get up into the lawn mower, and the lawn mower catches on fire.”

He said the most common fire starter they respond to this time of year is people flicking cigarettes into ditches and also advised people to be aware of wet leaves on the road.

“Wet leaves on a wet road are pretty much like ice,” Brugnoli said. “People don’t think about it because it’s nice outside, 55 to 60 degrees, and everybody’s out looking at leaves and you might get a little sprinkle here or there, and the leaves that are falling do get rather slick.”

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