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Editorial: Forest Fires

Wildfires Are Burning Thousands of WV Acres

The Inter-Mountain

Eastern West Virginia is on fire. Days of dry, windy weather supported wildfires that have burned thousands of acres, particularly in Berkeley, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan and Pendleton counties.

According to Assistant State Forester Linda Carnell, who spoke with WV Public Broadcasting, there are local fire departments in all affected counties and some neighboring counties fighting the blazes. Of course, Division of Forestry employees are there, too.

Carnell described significant structural damage, in addition to the damaged forest land.

“It’s been pretty devastating just within these few days, especially once you start losing structures,” she told WVPB.

Though it should go without saying, as there is a statewide ban on outdoor fires between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., March 1 to May 31, Carnell said “Refrain from any type of burning outside till we get significant precipitation.”

That means all day long while the weather is making it so easy for fires to spark and spread. Carnell said springtime and its potentially rough, windy weather can bring two common causes: intentionally set fires that get out of control and spread, and tree branches falling onto power lines.

So, while not all the potential causes of these fires are within human control, many of them are. 

Read more: https://www.theintermountain.com/opinion/editorials/2024/03/forest-fires/

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