Officials stress importance of burn ban for national fire prevention week

UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- A Taylor county man was recently cited after the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources said he caused a brush fire which violated the state wide burn ban. As National Fire Prevention week is in full swing, officials are wanting people to know how serious the burn ban really is.

It's national fire prevention week and officials stress the importance of the statewide burn ban and how people can stay safe.

"We're really pushing to make people realize that even tiki torches and stuff like that," said Career firefighter EMT John Brugnoli. "That's a big thing."

Due to the dry conditions, officials say the slightest amount of wind can turn a small fire into a big problem.

"You get a little gust of wind and as dry as it has been over the past several months, that fire can go from being a leaf pile in your backyard to being the whole mountain side in a matter of minutes," Brugnoli said.

There are restrictions to the ban on what you can and can't do. The ban does not allow any outdoor burning unless it is for cooking and heating.

"Commercial stuff for farmers and everything like that is allowed but the everyday campfires anything outdoors like that... if it is not for cooking or heating then it is under the ban right now," Brugnoli said.

Along with any fire, officials say the best way to stay safe from a fire is to have a working smoke detector.

"A fire can double and triple in size in minutes," Brugnoli said. "The smoke detectors now a days are awesome they alert a lot quicker than the old ones and that extra minute, that can be life or death."