West Virginia sets strict regulations regarding burning of debris during its designated forest fire seasons, which encompass five nonconsecutive months of the year. Commercial and agricultural operations -- but not individuals -- can apply for burning permits from local state Forestry Division offices. Permits, currently $125 each, allow limited burning during otherwise prohibited periods.
Forest Fire Season
Forest fire season in West Virginia includes the spring and fall seasons, from March 1 through May 31st and October 31st through December 31st. During state forest fire seasons, West Virginians cannot burn debris during daylight hours. Outdoor burning is allowed between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. Any outdoor fires must have a minimum 10 foot wide safety strip surrounding them, free of any material or debris that could burn. Such fires require constant supervision and can't be left alone.
If a fire for which you're responsible spreads and starts a wildfire, expect a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000. The state might also bill you for the funds required to suppress the fire, whether on your property or state land.
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.