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UPDATE: Backyard Burn Causes Brush Fire Near Charleston

By: Brooks Jarosz; Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Brooks Jarosz; Jennifer Rizzi Email

UPDATE: 4/6/2013 @ 10:20 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A neighbor who was burning brush sparked a 25 acre fire, forcing neighbors and firefighters to fight the flames.

Ed Gunter says he was just trying to get rid of some yard waste. He never dreamed the small spark he started behind his home would grow into a brush fire more than 20 acres wide, taking over a part of Kanawha State Forest.

"There was a ten-foot perimeter around it and a water hose, and it still got away," he said.

Officials say Gunter took all the right precautions, but with brush fire season underway, that often isn't enough.

They recommend that you avoid burning when dry leaves everywhere, acting as a powder keg just waiting to ignite.

"A gust of wind can come through and blow a few sparks, and when a few sparks go that's it," Loudendale Fire Chief Louis Fizer said.

Officials say the flames broke out just before 4 p.m. Saturday along Kanawha State Forest Drive near Connell Road.

It took them more than an hour to get it under control.

Randy Gibson lives nearby and says he couldn't stand by when he saw the fire raging. He and other neighbors formed a makeshift team, using their own tools to help crews battle the elusive flames.

"The fire trucks couldn't get access to a whole lot of water on the hillside," he said. "So we tried to keep it away from the houses until they came back down."

Gunter says it might be a while before he burns any yard waste again.

"I thought I was doing everything right," he said. "But it still happened."

No property was damaged in the fire and no one was injured.

Increasing wind and warm air make the risk higher brush fires.

In West Virginia, legal burning is from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. In Ohio and Kentucky, legal burning is from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

You can only burn vegetation, never trash. Fire season in Kentucky runs through April 30 and in Ohio and West Virginia until May 31.



ORIGINAL STORY
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A neighbor who was burning brush sparked a 25 acre fire, forcing neighbors and firefighters to fight the flames.

Dispatchers say it broke out just before 4 p.m. Saturday along Kanawha State Forest Drive near Connell Road.

Firefighters say the flames are now contained but started by a neighbor burning brush in the backyard. They say the neighbors took all the necessary safety precautions.

Emergency workers say the wind was strong and caused the fire to spread to more than 25 acres.

Three fire departments were called in to help contain the flames. No homes were damaged or in serious danger.

WSAZ.com was there and will have a report about how neighbors sprung into action to help put the fire out tonight at 10 on MyZ and 11 on WSAZ.


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