UPDATE 7/13/12 @ 11:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's outdoor burning ban will be lifted beginning Saturday.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Friday that he had approved rescinding the ban, which had been in place since July 6.
Tomblin said in a release that it was safe to burn debris from the June 29 storm that may have collected in yards and communities over the past two weeks.
State Forester Randy Dye said that recent rainfall had improved what had been abnormally dry conditions, thus reducing the fire danger.
Officials urged residents to be cautious when burning, including putting debris in several small piles instead of one big one, burning in a safe place and having water and tools on hand in case the fire gets out of control.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Friday that a combination of scarce water supplies, dry conditions and emergency personnel stretched thin by the recovery effort led to his decision.
The ban is effective immediately and will continue until West Virginia's state of emergency is lifted.
About 200,000 homes and businesses remained without power Friday as a result of strong winds that toppled trees and snapped utility lines.