by Kate Evans
Area firefighters had their hands full again this past weekend with a number of fire calls and smoke investigations on Sunday. Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company officials reported on their social media page that Sunday started out with their crews responding to a reported large outside fire on Duckwall Road at 7:44 a.m.
Responders noticed a large amount of smoke in the area and asked for additional brush trucks and tankers from other companies. The area was checked for around 45 minutes. The smoke dissipated with nothing being found and units cleared the scene. The smoke was coming from a large outdoor wood stove, according to online posts.
Units that responded were Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Hancock and Reynolds Store Volunteer Fire Companies.
Berkeley Springs firefighters responded to a heavy smoke investigation in the S. Laurel Avenue area at 12:27 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. Crews found an illegal controlled burn. Units left the scene at 12:41 p.m.
The state burn ban took effect on Sunday and states that from March 1 to May 31 no opening burning is permitted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon and Hancock Volunteer Fire Company units responded to a barn fire on Jim West Road at 4:07 p.m. on Sunday.
Lieutenant Zachary Sipe arrived on the scene advising that a small shed fire was well off spreading to the wooded area. Hancock firefighters got to the scene first and greatly knocked down the fire. Berkeley Springs and Hancock units remained for overhaul. Units cleared the scene at 5:04 p.m.
Berkeley Springs units were next dispatched to a heavy smoke investigation in the area of Promenade Lane off Potter Road at 6:16 p.m. on Sunday, their Facebook page post reported. One of their firefighters found a controlled burn and units were placed in service at 6:20 p.m.
Berkeley Springs Engine 12 was dispatched to Paw Paw at 9:37 p.m. for a reported explosion in a residence on Warrior Lane. While en route Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center advised responders that the caller heard an explosion and the house was filled with smoke.
Paw Paw Volunteer Company Units arrived on the scene to a working chimney fire and held Paw Paw, Great Cacapon and Slanesville Volunteer Fire Company units there. Engine 12 left the scene at 9:50 p.m.
Open burn reminder
The Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company reminded residents in their post that the burning of trash and in burn barrels remains illegal in West Virginia. Only natural vegetation such as sticks, branches, leaves and grass can be burned. A 10 foot minimum of clearance is advised around burn piles.
Spring Forest Fire Season began March 1 and no burning is allowed between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Call Morgan County 911 Dispatch at 304-258-0305 to report open burning.