March 9, 2014
A wet spring has helped reduce the number of forest fires in West Virginia.
The Division of Forestry says there were 321 fires and 1,715 acres burned in the first five months of the year. That compares to 413 fires and 12,067 acres burned in the same period last year.
More than one third of the fires were the result of debris fires that weren't contained.
Because of that, the Legislature has changed hours that debris can be burned. Starting October 1, outdoor burning will be banned from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Previously, the ban was lifted at 4 p.m.
Maximum fines also have been increased from $300 to $1,000.
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