Authorities Urge Community to Follow Burn Ban Laws

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – A number of brush fires have broken out across the area despite the burn  ban in effect.

“I think it’s a matter of convenience for them, but your safety should be first,” said firefighter Moriyah Cox. “That should be your first priority. Your own safety and your family, as well as your neighbors and the firefighters that will come to fight that fire.”

Just a month after the ban was put into effect, the region has already suffered over 60 fires. The ban prohibits burning between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“That’s when the humidity is low,” said regional forester Tom Cover. “The lower the humidity, the better chance of a fire.. [And the wind] usually dies down in the evenings.”

Earlier this week, a brush fire destroyed one home and damaged two others. Investigators say that fire may have started from something as small as a cigarette.

Burning brush from you yard outside designated hours can have similarly devastating effects.

“If it’s local, it’s near buildings or homes [and you] can actually burn the home down,” said Cover.

Cox and Cover both said that you should have a hose nearby when burning something. You should also keep any debris cleared from the area. If you decide to start a fire, be sure  you stay within the designated hours. If a fire isn’t supervised, it can quickly get out of hand.

Cover said if you plan to burn something, it’s always a good idea to notify the Division of Forestry beforehand.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at