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Gov. Justice ends statewide ban on outdoor burning; regular burning season regulations now in effect

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UPDATE: CHARLESTON, WV Gov. Jim Justice issued a proclamation today, officially rescinding the recent statewide ban on all types of outdoor burning.

This action comes after the state received sufficient rainfall over the past several days to warrant ending the outdoor burning ban.

View the proclamation here

Standard fall burning season laws and regulations take effect immediately.

The burning of forestland, grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other inflammable materials is now allowed; only from the hours of 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.

Additionally, fires must be attended at all times and all fires must be fully extinguished before 7 a.m. daily.

Residents caught in violations of these regulations face citations and fines up to $1,000.

View more information on burning laws and guidelines here

The fall burning season continues through Dec. 31, 2019.

In typical years, the fall burning season would have begun on Oct. 1. However, due to drought conditions this year increasing the risk of catastrophic wildfires, Gov. Justice instituted the recent statewide burning ban by issuing a proclamation on Sept. 20 and a subsequent amendment on Sept. 23. The ban, which continued into October, took precedent over regular burning season laws.

The statewide burn ban coincided with moderate drought conditions across much of the state and severe drought conditions in southern West Virginia, which prompted Gov. Justice to also declare a State of Emergency for all 55 counties on Oct. 3, 2019.

The State of Emergency is still in effect at this time due to ongoing drought conditions and will remain in effect until rescinded by further proclamation.

As part of the continued State of Emergency, Gov. Justice reminds West Virginians of several voluntary guidelines that he is asking residents to abide by during the drought conditions and associated water shortage:

  • Cease non-agricultural irrigation in the state, including those for strictly recreational purposes.
  • Limit washing or cleaning vehicles and/or structures where not otherwise required by law.
  • Limit use of public drinking water systems to minimal standards for good personal hygiene, food preparation, laundry, livestock, and pets, and other reasonable purposes.
  • Cease the filling of private swimming pools.

 

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Officials want to remind everyone that the state is still under a State of Emergency and the burn ban is still in effect.

West Virginia counties received some beneficial rains earlier this week but it wasn’t enough to end the drought. Most of our area picked up around an inch of rain.  Some areas picked up almost 2″, while others picked up a little over 1/2″.   In southern West Virginia, we would need between 6-12 inches of rain to completely wipe away the drought according to NOAA.

The National Weather Services predicts that the drought will continue to persist for the rest of October.

 

This State of Emergency follows a proclamation, issued by Gov. Justice on Sept. 20, 2019, and amended on Sept. 23, 2019, which bans all outdoor burning throughout the state with limited exceptions. The burning ban is still in effect. Click here to read more about the burning ban

Drought conditions in all 55 counties are forecast to escalate.

As part of today’s State of Emergency, the Governor has directed state officials to:

  • Implement the West Virginia Emergency Operations Plan as it relates to drought emergency response.
  • Place the state Emergency Operations Center in a stand-by status, unless activation is deemed necessary and appropriate.
  • Restrict the use of water for the purposes of dust control at construction and industrial sites, except as required under terms of permits issued for the same.
  • Monitor existing water sources for the presence of contaminants, including harmful algae blooms, which tend to propagate more readily in warmer and shallower waters.

Gov. Justice has also issued voluntary guidelines for the residents of West Virginia to:

  • Cease non-agricultural irrigation in the state, including those for strictly recreational purposes.
  • Limit washing or cleaning vehicles and/or structures where not otherwise required by law.
  • Limit use of public drinking water systems to minimal standards for good personal hygiene, food preparation, laundry, livestock, and pets, and other reasonable purposes.
  • Cease the filling of private swimming pools.

The State of Emergency will remain in effect until rescinded by further proclamation.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com


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