West Virginia Statewide Burning Ban To Go Into Effect On October 18th
Charleston, WV – Unless West Virginia gets significantly more rain in the next month, a statewide burning ban will go into effect on October 18th, according to a press release from the office of WV Governor Joe Manchin.
The proclamation banning all outdoor burning is to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires due to drought conditions in the state. It will be in effect until conditions improve and the Governor lifts the ban. Beginning October 18th, it will be unlawful for any person in the state to engage in outdoor burning, including fires built for burning debris or for campfires or warming. The following are exceptions allowed under the ban:
Fires for the purpose of chemical production, where fire is essential to operations
Fires for commercial land clearing such as mining, highway construction and development – a permit from the WV Division of Forestry is required
Training fires under the direct control and supervision of qualified fire department or government instructors – again, a permit must be obtained from the Division of Forestry prior to burning
Fires for commercial outdoor cooking and cooking for fairs and festivals. A water source capable of extinguishing the fire must be readily available.
Liquid-fueled gas fire stoves, grills or lanterns.
Governer Manchin has asked the Division of Forestry to enact a forest fire readiness plan and to enforce the ban on outdoor burning. He has also requested the Division of Natural Resources, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the State Police to cooperate with strict enforcement of the ban.
Jimmy Gianato, WV Director of Homeland Security and Emergency management says his agency is working to assist areas of the state where water supplies are dwindling. For example, a tanker truck of potable water was recently delivered to the Town of Durbin because of falling water levels. The town is currently under a boil water advisory.
Forestry Director Randy Dye says this burning ban is not a woods closure and will not affect scheduled hunting seasons. Burning permits for fires excluded from the restrictions may be obtained from the Division of Forestry regional offices in Beckley, Fairmont, Milton, Parkersburg and Romney. The West Virginia statewide outdoor burning ban goes into effect on October 18th, 2010 unless rescinded by the Governor.