CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday rescinded the statewide ban on all types of outdoor burning.

The action came after the state received enough rainfall last week to warrant ending the outdoor burning ban.

Standard fall burning season laws and regulations took effect immediately.

The burning of forestland, grass, grain, stubble, debris or other inflammable materials is now allowed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Small fires set for the purpose of preparing food, or providing light or warmth are permitted any time without a burning permit, provided all grass, brush, stubble or other debris has been removed at least 10 feet from the fire in all directions.

Additionally, fires must be attended at all times and all fires must be fully extinguished before 7 a.m.

Residents violating the regulations face citations and fines up to $1,000.

The fall burning season continues through Dec. 31.

In typical years, the fall burning season begins on Oct. 1. However, drought conditions this year increased the risk of catastrophic wildfires, so Gov. Justice instituted a statewide burning ban by issuing a proclamation on Sept. 20 and an amendment on Sept. 23. The ban took precedent over regular burning season laws.

The statewide burn ban coincided with moderate drought conditions across much of the state and severe drought conditions in southern West Virginia, which prompted Justice to also declare a state of emergency for all 55 counties on Oct. 3.

The state of emergency is still in effect due to ongoing drought conditions and will remain in effect until rescinded by further proclamation.

The state of emergency asks residents to honor several requests during the drought conditions and associated water shortage: 

• Cease non-agricultural irrigation in the state, including those for strictly recreational purposes.

• Limit washing or cleaning vehicles and/or structures where not otherwise required by law.

• Limit use of public drinking water systems to minimal standards for good personal hygiene, food preparation, laundry, livestock and pets, and other reasonable purposes.

• Cease the filling of private swimming pools.

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