WEST VIRGINIA – October 1st marks the beginning of the fall Burning Season, prohibiting burning from morning until evening through the end of the year.
From October 1st through December 31st, burning is prohibited from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a maximum fine of $1000.00 for violating the burning law. If burning has occurred during permitted hours (5 p.m. to 7 a.m.), the fire must be completely extinguished by 7 a.m.
Burning season prohibitions exclude 1) small fires for the purpose of food preparation, warmth or light around which all grass, brush, stubble or debris has been removed for at least 10 feet from the fire and 2) burning which is conducted at any time when the ground surrounding the burning site is covered by one inch of snow or more.
General Burning guidelines from the WV Division of Forestry are:
• All fires must have a ring or safety strip.
• The safety strip itself must be cleared of burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide, fully encompassing the debris pile.
• Fire must be attended until completely extinguished.
• Only vegetative materials such as leaves, brush and yard clippings are permitted to be burntFines for forest fires due to negligence range from $100 to $1,000 with additional civil penalty of $200.
• Follow all burning season guidelines, which state that between March 1 and May 31 as well as October 1 through December 31, outdoor burning is prohibited during the daytime hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• If operating spark-throwing machinery such as power shovels or sawmills on land subject to fire, machinery must contain an adequate spark arrestor.
• Inflammable waste disposal areas must annually remove all grass, brush, debris and other inflammable material adjacent to disposal areas to provide adequate protection, preventing the escape of fire to adjacent lands.
• The State shall recover from the person or persons, firms or corporations whose negligence or whose violations of any provisions of this article cause ANY fire at ANY time on any grass or forest land in the amount expended by the State.
• A landowner must take all practicable means to suppress ANY fire on his property. If he fails to do so, the State shall collect from him the amounts expended by the State for such purposes.
To burn during prohibited periods for commercial burning, a permit must be obtained from the Division of Forestry.