West Virginia officials have lifted a weeklong outdoor burn ban put in place after a long dry period raised fire hazards to a dangerous level.
On Monday, April 24, Governor Jim Justice announced the ban on burning outdoors was over, but normal spring burning laws remain in effect.
Burning forestland, grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other materials is allowed only from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Small fires set for the purpose of preparing food or providing light or warmth are permitted anytime without a burning permit, provided all grass, brush, stubble, or other debris has been removed for a minimum distance of 10 feet from the fire in all directions.
Fires must be attended to at all times, and all fires must be fully extinguished before 7 a.m. daily.
Residents caught violating these regulations face citations and fines of up to $1,000.
Rainfall on Saturday started to end a long period of dry weather, and more rain is expected throughout this week.
In spite of the rain, state officials continue to ask residents to be careful when burning brush or having large campfires, and to follow spring burning laws.
“This year, we have experienced a significant period of low humidity and below average rainfall,” Acting West Virginia Division of Forestry Director and State Forester Tony Evans said. “Since January 1, we have experienced 654 different fires in the state, and a current total of 4,121 acres burned.”