A burning restriction law goes into effect at the beginning of March. No burning will be allowed from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day from March 1- May 31.
Captain Joe Coughlin of the Beckley Fire Department explained why burn regulations are in place during the spring.
“Downed sticks and what not, the leaves that were laying all winter; they’re all mashed down” Coughlin said. “So, you have an increased fuel load and March is typically where we have worse wild land fires.”
Coughlin explained that with warm and dry weather in the spring, the fire threat can increase.
By restricting the time period where open burning is permitted to the evening and nighttime, the fire threat is lower due to increased humidity and cooler temperatures.
But Coughlin said there is more to burning safety than just that.
“You should clear an area around it so it can’t spread from the pile that you’re burning and you can only burn what naturally grows” Coughlin said.
Burning materials that are not natural, such as mattresses, box springs, and other furniture, can be unsafe and also conflicts with pollution laws. However, Coughlin said the most important thing to know about burning safety is to never leave the flame unattended.
“The majority of fires that escape are because people aren’t watching them” Coughlin said. “They’ll go in to get a drink or they’ll go in to watch the evening news.”