The West Virginia spring fire season runs March 1 through May 31. Each year, the spring season heralds the return of public safety outdoor burning limitations.
The law bans outdoor burning during the daylight hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Burning is allowed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. for vegetation such as brush, leaves and yard clippings. All fires must be extinguished by 7 a.m. Residents must clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire, creating a safety ring, and make sure the area is free of all flammable material. If fire escapes the safety ring and causes a wildfire or forest fire, the person responsible for starting the outdoor burn will be held legally responsible.
A responsible person must be present to supervise a burning fire. No fire may be left unattended until it is completely extinguished.
The West Virginia Division of Forestry recommends following burning precautions such as avoid burning on windy days, have water and fire extinguishing tools handy to deal with any fires that escape the safety ring and contact local city government offices for possible burning ordinances before burning within city limits.
Contact the West Virginia Division of Forestry for commercial burning permits. Burning permits are not issued for burning yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, twigs and branches.
To learn about West Virginia’s burning laws and where to obtain a burning permit, visit the DOF’s website, www.wvforestry.com.