BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Every year the state designates two time frames as forest fire seasons. The first is from March 1 to the end of May, and the other is right around the corner, starting Oct. 1 and lasting until the end of December.
During this time many cities designate certain burn times to lower the risk of wildfires.
According to Captain Parsons with the Beckley Fire Prevention Bureau, forest fire seasons are often dry and have the right conditions for a fire to get out of hand.
“In those periods of the year, there’s usually more debris accumulated, it’s dryer,” Parsons said. “So there’s more potential for wildfires.”
In the City of Beckley during a forest fire season, residents are asked to call ahead any time they plan to set up a burn so the fire department knows where to go in the case of an accident.
In typical years the city doesn’t see too many calls, but they are always careful.
“Sometimes there’s an uptick, it just depends. Usually, people are pretty good about keeping their fires maintained. We just ask people to be cautious.”
During a forest fire season, the only things allowed to be burned are natural vegetation. No trash, tires, or anything can be burned during the season.
Burns can also only be conducted after 5 pm because in the evening wind speeds are lower and the humidity is higher.
As well, residents are asked to set up a 10-foot perimeter around the fire to prevent spread, and there should always be a means to put the fire out.