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Justice ends outdoor burning ban

CHARLESTON — The governor of West Virginia Wednesday rescinded the statewide ban on all outdoor burning.

Gov. Jim Justice said the recission comes after the state received sufficient rainfall over the past several days to warrant ending the outdoor burning ban.

Standard fall burning season laws and regulations immediately take effect. The burning of forestland, grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other inflammable materials is allowed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Small fires set for 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.

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 wildfires, Justice instituted the recent statewide ban on Sept. 20 and a subsequent amendment on Sept. 23.

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

The drought state of emergency will remain in effect, he said.

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