JULIAN — Forest fires have been reported in Boone County, near U.S. 119, from Water Ways Park past Stephens Auto Center in Julian.
While firefighters and state Division of Forestry officials continued to battle the blaze Tuesday night into Wednesday evening, no officials were available for comment.
Also in Boone County, a fire was reported at Lots Branch, near Prenter, and another near Mohler Road.
Very windy and dry conditions appeared to be fueling the fires, while nearby residents continued to watch for rain forecasted by 8 p.m., Wednesday evening.
“You can smell the smoke all the way in Danville and Madison,” said Kim Adkins as she exited from the Kroger’s grocery store in Danville. “I hope it rains soon and puts out these fires.”
Several other fires have been reported in neighboring Kanawha, Raleigh and Logan counties, including one coming very close to a house in Mud Fork in Logan County.
Fall forest fire season is in effect through Dec. 31, 2015.
The West Virginia Division of Forestry reminds residents that restricted burning regulations, which include that outdoor burning is prohibited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Outdoor burning is allowed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all fires must be extinguished by 7 a.m., according to a press release from the state Division of Forestry.
“State law requires a ring or safety strip around outdoor fires to keep the fire from spreading into the woods,” the press release stated. “This safety strip must be cleared of all burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide completely around the debris pile.”
Additional requirements of the state’s fire laws include staying on-site until the fire is completely extinguished, and only burning vegetative materials like leaves, brush and yard clippings, according to the release.
“If you allow a fire you have started to escape and it causes a wildfire or forest fire, you will be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000,” the news release added. “An additional civil penalty of $200 also will be assessed against you.”
This year, 202 wildfires have been reported in West Virginia, according to the state Division of Forestry, burning over 7,600 acres.
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at [email protected] or @fcpace62 on Twitter.