State-wide burn laws go into effect this month

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Every year between March and May, state-wide fire restrictions are put into effect. The laws come from the West Virginia Division of Forestry and are meant to reduce the risk of forest fires.

At the start of this month, restrictions were put in place and will prohibit the starting of fires from 7 A.M to 5 P.M.

Ernie Parsons, Captain of the Beckley fire department says that although the weather may not make it seem like it, conditions right now are prime for forest fires.

“The conditions can be drier. I know it’s still kind of wet outside right now but typically they’re a little drier. You have more debris that has accumulated throughout the winter months. And there’s more fuel that can burn,” Parsons said.

Although the restrictions may be annoying to some citizens, it does not prohibit all fires, just ones between 7 and 5, because conditions get better for fire management during those times.

“They restrict the outdoor burning until after 5 because typically the winds will die down and the humidity will come up.”

And any fires made after 5 P.M. must only burn certain substances and be supervised constantly. Vegetation may be burned while any man-made substances are prohibited.

The burn restrictions are necessary to prevent potentially deadly and costly forest fires. And after a serious drought in California that led to many fires in recent years, it’s especially important citizens follow the restrictions to prevent similar fires from happening in West Virginia.

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