Spring forest fire season is officially underway. That means limited outdoor burning for the next three months.

Leslie Fitzwater with the Division of Forestry says since the end of the fall season on December 31st, the state has seen a higher than normal amount of acres burn.

“We’ve already had 450 acres burned. That’s quite a few considering that it’s wintertime,” according to Fitzwater.

The June derecho brought down a lot of trees and limbs. Superstorm Sandy did more of the same in October. That’s why foresters are worried about this spring season.

“We have people who obviously have to clean off their land of debris and they set fires,” says Fitzwater. “They either set them too large or they’ll walk off and leave them and let the fires escape.”

Fitzwater says that’s why there are rules. You can’t burn from 7am to 5pm. If a fire gets away from you, you’re responsible for paying for the damages.

Fitzwater says the best advice she can offer to the public is this.

“If you start a fire, you stay with it until it’s completely out!”

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