Spring Fire Season

Brush Fire Season Begins Early

After a cold but dry winter (as in dry snows and a lack of soaking rains), we are entering the spring fire season with a lack of top soil moisture. This spells an early start to the spring fire season.

By way of background, the spring fire season usually is rather quiet in late winter as rains and wet snows help to mat last fall’s leaves into the ground. Not until the stronger sun of March and those famous lion-like winds go to work do we usually start worrying about brush fires.

This year however, the winter has been characterized by mainly dry, water starved snows that were better suited to downhill skiing than building snowmen and throwing snowballs. Only 2 soaking rains have fallen dating back to December first.

Now a few days of bright sunshine and strong winds have done yeomen work in evaporating the scant moisture in the top soil. To add even more dryness, a fresh batch of cold polar air has arrived this Monday evening. While we all think of polar air as cold (temperatures will be in the 20s as the kids wait for the school bus at dawn and adults scrape frost off the windshield), arctic air is also dry since the source region is the middle of the North American continent, kind of like being from a desert.

Add it all up, the low humidity, strong wind, high solar content air has sucked what water was in the top soil out of the ground through evaporation. This means a careless match can go a long way to making life difficult for forest rangers.

With no significant rain in the forecast this week, and with more windy, warm weather by late week due in town, the most prudent course of action is for folks to refrain from any burning.

As of midnight Tuesday February 15, legal burn times have been reduced to 6pm until 6am in Kentucky while no temporal (time) restrictions to burning are in effect until March 1st in Ohio and WV.

Remember you may never burn trash legally, any state, any time. You may burn vegetative material (leaves, timber etc) in areas away from most city limits.

As always, if you are new to burning, check with your local fire department before doing so.
Read More Blogs
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability