CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Department of Forestry Friday urged West Virginians to be cautious of burning amid this winter’s dry, windy conditions.

Assistant State Forester-Fire Jeremy Jones said in a press release that this winter has not seen the amount of precipitation that the Department of Forestry would like.

“We have seen an uptick of fires in the past few days, with 30 fires burning 150 acres, so we urge caution at this time,” Jones said. “Hopefully, this next system coming through will bring some needed precipitation with it. Until then, we ask that you please listen to the weather report, and if high winds are called for, please refrain from burning.”

There are still a few more weeks until spring fire season begins on March 1. Once it does, here are the Department of Forestry’s tips for safe burning:

  • Before leaving any fire for any length of time, the fire must be completely extinguished.
  • Clear at least a 10-foot area (safety strip) around the fire and make sure all burnable material has been removed.
  • Any equipment that can throw sparks and operating on land subject to fire by any cause must be provided with an adequate spark arrestor.
  • If your fire escapes, you are liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may cause.

West Virginia’s fire-burning laws are available in detail on the DOF’s website here.