High Risk for Brush Fires

Indian Summer weather is nice for most, but can be a danger to a few. Tony reminds us how fall fire season can perk up when it is windy and warm in November.

Indian Summer Spells Fire Risk

With the warmest weather in a month arriving this weekend, you know that folks will be enjoying the outdoors. In fact, the term Indian Summer comes to mind as we greet these tepid thermals.

Indian Summer of course refers to the time of the fall when a warm spell follows the first frosts of the season. The early American Indians used this warm spell as a sort of second chance to harvest their crops before the true winter arrived.

So Indian Summer weather will greet the Bluecoats and Greycoats as they wage battle in Guyandotte as part of Civil War Days. Temperatures will be warming into the upper 60s if not low 70s on both Saturday and Sunday for the battle so Union and Confederate soldiers alike will feel uncomfortably warm under those coats.

The warm weather will be a boon for attendance at Veteran’s Day parades in Ceredo-Kenova and St. Albans. Shirt sleeves will be the fashion of the day along Main street and at your favorite local golf course.

In Beckley, it’s the WV high school state soccer tourney with several local teams (Charleston Catholic, Hurricane, GW and Nitro) vying for number one. Here highs will get close to 60 for corner kicks and headers.

The price to be paid for the Indian Summer weather will be our first high risk of brush fires this fall season. You see the leaves are down and brown. Now here comes a windy, warm sunny Saturday to dry the air even more. Chances are many folks will be doing some burning of brush.

Trouble is the ground is parched after a 2 week spell with little rain. And those winds will gust to 25 miles per hour. So folks who are burning, perhaps for the first time this fall will be surprised at how fast a carefully set fire can escape.

Late this Friday night foresters report a small contained brush fire on the Kanawha-Fayette County line near Cannelton. This on a night without wind is a telltale sign of possible trouble on Saturday.

Here are a few tips on burning. As always, I recommend putting off any burning until we get some good rains (next Tuesday). But if you must burn, here are some rules and laws to obey.

You can burn only vegetation during these times

KY,OH 6 pm to 6am

WV 4pm to 7am

You must clear ground to bare mineral soil before starting a burn and must stay with fire until completely distinguished. In Kentucky, you may not burn within 150 feet of the forest line.

And remember, local ordinances supercede state law so if you are unsure of what you can do in your neighborhood, check with your fire department. For example, you are prohibited from burning within city limits like Huntington, Ashland and Ironton and most of Charleston.

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