CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday that the state-wide outdoor burning ban would be lifted Saturday, July 14. With the approval of the governor, State Forester Randy Dye, in cooperation with Division of Natural Resources Director Frank Jezioro, rescinded the outdoor burning ban, which has been in place since July 6, 2012.
“We have made significant progress with storm recovery during the past week, and I believe it is safe for residents to burn storm debris that has collected in yards and communities throughout West Virginia. Please use caution and put safety first,” said Gov. Tomblin.
Immediately following the June 29 storm, first responders such as volunteer fire departments and local law enforcement were busy dealing with storm response efforts. Now that first responders have the flexibility to respond, if needed, to fire-related incidents and due to recent rainfall throughout West Virginia, the ban is being lifted.
“Many areas of West Virginia were abnormally dry when the burning ban was proclaimed, but recent rainfall greatly helped reduce the fire danger,” said Dye.
“Thanks to the visitors who have complied with the burning ban on state park, forest and wildlife management properties during the past two weeks, we have had no fire incidents to report during that time. We ask that continued caution be used when setting up campfires on public land,” said Jezioro.
Dye also reminded residents to use caution when burning outdoors:
• Put debris in several small piles instead of one large one
• Aelect a safe place away from overhead power lines, phone lines or other obstructions and where the fire cannot spread into the woods or weedy, brushy areas.
• Clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire and make sure the area is clear of all burnable material.
• Have water and tools on hand to extinguish anything that may escape the burn area.
• Stay with the fire at all times until it is completely out. Leaving a fire unattended for any length of time is illegal.
• Call 911 immediately if a fire does escape.
Guidelines for the open burning of vegetation and land clearing debris:
• must be thoroughly dried at least 10 days and piled to promote combustion; no trunks, limbs or stumps over eight (8) inches in diameter (before splitting); conducted during daylight hours, which requires the size of burn piles to be small enough to burn out before dark; fires must be completely extinguished and not allowed to smolder at night; all fires must be surrounded by a 10-foot clearing to prevent escape to potential combustible materials; never leave fires unattended, and keep a shovel and water source nearby and health, safety, comfort and property of neighbors are protected from the effects of such burning
Materials illegal to open burn include:
• household trash (burn barrels and/or piles) including paper products - such as cardboard, boxes, etc.; construction, building, or demolition materials (examples: lumber, flooring, roofing material, carpet, plastic, styrofoam, etc.); wood pallets and other packaging materials; tires or other rubber products; asbestos-containing materials including building materials; insulation from copper wire and waste paints, waste oil, or solvents.
For more information, visit wv.dep.wv.gov