West Virginia fire season starts October 1st.


West Virginia fire season starts October 1st and lasts until the end of the year.

To protect our forests during this time, people are only allowed to start and maintain fires between the hours of 5 pm and 7 am.

This is because during the fall season, as well as during the spring, conditions during the day become very dry.

Shannon Akers, Captain of Bluefield Fire Department: “The leaves drying out off the trees where they’ve fallen and you’ve got the foliage on the ground and things like that, that’s what really contributes to fire spreading.”

Daytime hours are generally more windy and humidity levels are lower, leading to much drier conditions. Perfect to allow fires to spread.

While at nighttime, the winds die down and humidity tends to be higher.

If there are ever extremely dry or windy conditions, the state can issue a burn ban, preventing fires at any time of the day.

If starting a fire during fire season, there are a couple of guidelines you need to be aware of.

First, is that all fires must be put out by 7 am, and they must be surrounded by a safety strip.

Shannon Akers, Captain of Bluefield Fire Department: “There has to be a perimeter around the fire of 10 feet around the area that you’re burning, so that you can’t catch other debris on fire that you’re not intending to burn”

Burning outside of designated times can result in a fine of up to one thousand dollars.

And as a reminder, cardboard and plastics can never be burned due to their effects on the environment.

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