DIAL 911 IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.
You are requested to report your controlled burn by phone, dial 304-258-0305 and a Morgan County Emergency Telecommunicator will be happy to assist you.
If you have questions concerning controlled burns, contact the West Virginia Division of Forestry at (304) 822-4512.
Open burning of land clearing debris must be approved by the WV Forestry Dept. This includes Vegetative material generated by the clearing of land for purposes of preparation for development, construction, mining or other such activity may be open burned provided there is no practical alternative disposal method. Non-vegetative (ex. construction debris) material is not considered land clearing debris. Pit burners should be used whenever practical and may be required in non-rural areas. You must report your controlled burn and receive approval from 911.
Additional information about controlled burns can be found here: Burning Laws in Brief (PDF)
- Fires must be attended at all times.
- The area must be cleared down to mineral soil for a minimum distance of 10 feet around what is being burned.
- Only natural vegetation may be burned. No construction material or garbage of any kind may be burned.
- I understand that if my fire escapes, I am liable for the costs of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may cause to others.
- I understand that setting fires is a felony and punishable by fine and / or imprisonment.
MARCH 1 – MAY 31
Burning is authorized from 5:00 PM – 7:00 AM
OCTOBER 1 – DECEMBER 31
Burning is authorized from 5:00 PM – 7:00 AM
EXCLUDING DATE RANGE ABOVE, BURING IS ALLOWED ANY TIME OF DAY.
WE ASK THAT YOU CALL 304-258-0305 TO INFORM OF YOUR CONTROLLED BURN.
VIOLATING THIS LAW IS SUBJECT TO A MAXIMUM $1,000 FINE.
The periods of each year between March 1 and May 31, inclusive, and October 1 and December 31, inclusive, are hereby designated as Forest Fire Seasons. No person shall during ANY such fire season, except between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. prevailing time, set on fire or cause to be set on fire any forest land, or any grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other inflammable materials.
Any fire set during this time shall be extinguished prior to 7:00 a.m. prevailing time. Such prohibition of fires between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. prevailing time shall not be construed to include (1) small fires set for the purpose of food preparation, or providing light or warmth around which all grass, brush, stubble, or other debris has been removed for a distance of ten feet from the fire, and (2) burning which may be conducted at any time when the ground surrounding the burning site is covered by one inch or more of snow.
No burning may be done unless all inflammable material has been removed from around the material to be burned as a safety strip for a distance which ensures that the fire will not escape and which is not less than 10 feet.
If fire escapes beyond the safety strip, the person responsible shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Before leaving ANY fire for ANY period of time, it must be totally extinguished.
Commercial permits to burn during the prohibited periods may be issued by the Division of Forestry. All sawmills, power shovels, or an engine or machine capable of throwing sparks must be provided with an adequate spark arrestor if operating on land subject to the fire by any cause. All inflammable waste disposal areas on ANY land must annually have removed all grass, brush, debris and other inflammable material adjacent to such disposal areas to provide adequate protection to prevent the escape of fire to adjacent lands.
The State shall recover from the person or persons, firms or corporations whose negligence or whose violations of any provisions of this article cause ANY fire at ANY time on any grass or forest land the amount expended by the State. A landowner must take all practicable means to suppress ANY fire on his property. If he fails to do so, the State shall collect from him the amounts expended by the State for such purposes.
It is illegal to burn: Household trash (burn barrels and/or piles) including paper products such as cardboard, boxes, etc. Construction, building, or demolition materials (examples: lumber, flooring, roofing material, carpet, plastic, Styrofoam, etc.) Wood pallets and other packaging materials Tires or other rubber products Asbestos-containing materials including building materials Insulation from copper wire Waste paints, waste oil, or solvents.
West Virginia Forestry Burning Law (pdf)
All controlled burns MUST be reported to the non-emergency 911 line, at 304-258-0305 so fire trucks will not be dispatched if your fire is reported.
Morning and afternoon outdoor-burning restrictions for the spring start March 1 and run through May 31 and for the fall start October 1 and run through December 31. Between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm no outdoor burning is permitted.
Commercial permits to burn during the prohibited periods may be issued by the local Division of Forestry office. For more information call 304- 263-7547.
Year-round requirements for burning outdoors include the following:
A safety strip of at least 10 feet must be placed around the burning materials. To prevent wayward sparks from igniting a forest fire, the strip must be cleared down to the mineral soil.
Fires must be attended to at all times and cannot be unattended until fully extinguished.
A violation of any outdoor-burning restrictions may result in a misdemeanor charge, a fine of up to $300 and liability for costs of fighting the fire and the damage caused by the fire to property.
To find out more about West Virginia’s fire laws go to WV Forestry.