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Firefighters encourage people to be cautious when burning

Brush fire in Kanawha County reaches 12 acres
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 10:40 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Burning during a time when brush fires spread quickly can result in fines, but avoiding brush fires altogether saves firefighters time and energy.

Sissonville firefighters, including Zach Bess, responded to a 12-acre brush fire Monday afternoon. Before they even got on scene, firefighters say neighbors fought to keep the fire from spreading to their homes.

“Started putting the fire line in with the wind. It kept jumping the line, so we had to keep starting over and keep starting over,” Bess said.

Luckily, he said firefighters were able to turn back a fire that came within a foot of a home.

“It actually got about a foot in between two structures, which luckily we got that stopped just in time,” Bess said.

Other neighbors watched, hoping it would not spread to their homes.

“They were begging us please to keep it away from their houses, and that is definitely a plus that we got accomplished today,” Bess said.

He said it’s believed the fire started when someone was burning brush outside their house, sparking the 12-acre fire. The Department of Forestry will now investigate, and one option may be fining whoever’s responsible.

“Some hefty fines, for sure, but the best way to prevent that is to keep a water source close by and make sure there is a clear area about 5 feet around the fire,” Bess said. “If it’s windy, please don’t burn. Not only does that create an issue starting the fire, but us out here low on manpower, it takes a toll on everybody.”

Bess encourages everyone to keep in mind wind conditions before planning to burn.

Here is more information on forest fire season from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

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