West Virginia lifts ban on outdoor burning

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's ban on outdoor burning is officially over.

Gov. Jim Justice rescinded the ban on Wednesday after the state received sufficient rainfall over the last several days.

The burning of forestland, grass and other inflammable materials is now allowed between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Small fires for cooking, light or warmth are also allowed.

He says the fall burning season usually starts on Oct. 1 but was postponed due to drought conditions that caused the governor to declare a state of emergency. The state of emergency is still in effect, and the governor is asking the public to limit water usage.

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Sept. 20

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has issued a ban on most outdoor burning due to drought conditions and reduced water supply levels in some communities.

The ban is effective immediately and will remain in effect until conditions improve and Justice rescinds the order.

Justice's office said the ban prohibits outdoor burning, including fires built for camping, burning of debris or warming. The news release said the ban is necessary "to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires due to drought."

Some fires are excluded, including those needed for chemical production; commercial land-clearing efforts with necessary permit; training fires with permit under supervision of qualified instructors; commercial outdoor cooking; and liquid-fueled gas fire stoves, grills and lanterns.

Division of Forestry Director Barry Cook said there have been 60 fires in September.

Below is Gov. Justice's full press release about the ban: