Safety First: Despite rain, stick to the rules on burning

Mid-Ohio Valley residents with soggy yards and damp basements might be forgiven for grumbling “enough with the rain already” when the skies open up these days. It has been a wet winter, there is no doubt.

But that doesn’t mean we can throw caution to the wind as spring approaches. Ohio and West Virginia officials remind residents burning regulations are still in effect this season, no matter how tempting it may be to believe nothing could possibly catch fire in these conditions.

You know the old jokes “Come to West Virginia! Experience all four seasons in one day!” or “Don’t like the weather in Ohio? Just wait an hour.”

Soon enough there will be folks grousing that it is too dry, and we could use a little rain.

Because conditions can change so quickly around here, it is important to stick to the rules. In the Buckeye State, burning is not allowed, even in a burn barrel, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from now to May 31. Fires burned after 6 p.m. must be more than 1,000 feet from homes or other buildings, smoke cannot obscure visibility on roads, train tracks, or airfields, and is prohibited within certain city limits.

In the Mountain State, burning is prohibited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. After after 5 p.m., fires must be attended at all times and an area must be cleared down to the soil for a minimum of a 10 feet radius.

With the weather warming up, and the urge to begin spring cleaning, remember the rules. Do not assume all this rain means they can be tossed aside. It is still better to be safe than sorry.


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