CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Technically spring is almost here despite what the weather reports show. Spring Forest Fire Season is officially underway.
It started March 1. Leslie Fitzwater Smithson, with the Division of Forestry, said rangers have been dealing with out of control burns since January 1.
“We’ve had about 80 fires that have burned 450 acres,” according to Fitzwater Smithson.
With the drier weather and warmer temperatures we’ve seen over the past week, she said things are heating up.
“We’ve seen quite a few fires over the past weekend in Lincoln, Boone and Kanawha counties and most of those were the result of an escaped fire,” Fitzwater Smithson said.
That’s why the Division of Forestry is reminding property owners of spring burning rules.
“If you have to burn, please burn after 5 p.m. Always stay with your fire. If it’s windy, even after 5 p.m., please don’t burn at all. Burn at a later time.”
And last but not least your fire must be out by 7 a.m.
With the harsh winter we’ve been through, Fitzwater Smithson said there are a lot of downed trees and branches adding to the debris on the forest floor. That only increases the flammable materials that could catch fire.
Spring Forest Fire Season wraps up May 31.