CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Forestry (WV DOF) urges West Virginians to be cautious of burning amid dry, windy conditions this winter.
“Our winter hasn’t seen as much precipitation as we would like, and the warmer temperatures and higher winds tend to dry out the fine fuels like leaves and grass,” said Assistant State Forester-Fire Jeremy Jones, WV DOF. “We have seen an uptick of fires in the past few days, with 30 fires burning 150 acres, so we urge caution at this time. Hopefully, this next system coming through will bring some needed precipitation with it. Until then, we ask that you please listen to the weather report, and if high winds are called for, please refrain from burning.”
Safe Burning Tips
A summary of forest fire laws and safe fire practices can be found on the state Division of Forestry website here.
• Before leaving any fire for any length of time, the fire must be completely extinguished.
• Clear at least a 10-foot area (safety strip) around the fire and make sure all burnable material has been removed.
• Any equipment that can throw sparks and operating on land subject to fire by any cause must be provided with an adequate spark arrestor.
• If your fire escapes, you are liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may cause.
Spring Fire season begins March 1.
The Division of Forestry protects nearly 12 million acres of forestland across West Virginia. More information on fire safety and programs such as forest legacy, logging and landowner assistance, visit the website wvforestry.com.