Governor amends dry-weather ban to permit some campfires

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A campfire blazes in the West Virginia hills.
A campfire blazes in the West Virginia hills.

Due to dry weather conditions, Gov. Jim Justice last week restricted outdoor burning in West Virginia, but today amended his proclamation to allow for campfires in state and federal recreation areas under specific conditions, according to Andy Malinoski, a spokesman for the W.Va. Dept. of Commerce.

At the request of officials with the West Virginia Division of Forestry and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Justice amended the proclamation banning all outdoor burning throughout West Virginia originally issued Sept. 20, 2019, to include an additional exclusion from the ban.

The amended proclamation adds the following item to the list of types of fires that are excluded from the restriction, according to a press release issued by Malinoski:

Fires built for warming or cooking within fireplaces or fire rings at designated federal and state recreation areas—provided area managers have the authority and discretion to continue the ban on open burning within any designated areas.

The ban, which is necessary because of drought conditions and reduced water-supply levels in some communities, remains in effect at this time and will stay in effect until conditions improve and the governor rescinds the order by further proclamation.

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