CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA (WOWK) — As crews from across the Mountain State continue to battle brush fires along the southern parts of the state, the West Virginia Division of Forestry is putting out a warning.
According to the National Park Service, the fire at the New River Gorge has burned more than 150 acres. And closer to home, fire danger has gone from moderate to high because of warm temperatures and high winds.
This fall fire season in West Virginia has been slow due to timely rain and a late canopy falling but has since picked up.
“The leaf litter is really drying out, which causes fires to spread a lot faster. Underneath it’s still pretty damp, so they are little easier to control when there is no wind, so hopefully, that dies down,” said Jeremy Jones, the Deputy State Fire Manager with the West Virginia Department of Forestry.
Similar to the New River Gorge and fires in Fayette County, a large brush fire burned more than 140 acres in Cabin Creek on Wednesday. Though it would be difficult for the more southern fires to spread up towards Charleston, the West Virginia Department of Forestry says it’s not impossible.
“It will still be smoking. With the sun popping up this morning and the wind picking up, I expect it will kick back up and start burning again today,” said Jones.
During West Virginia’s fall fire season, burning is illegal from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of December. If you do burn after 5 p.m., the fire needs to be attended at all times and have a ten-foot barrier surrounding it.
In West Virginia nearly all forest fires are human-caused, so bring should be avoided at all costs.