(06/20/2007)
If western and southwestern counties continue to move toward a drought, West Virginia could see the worst fall wildfire season in six years.

The state was experiencing a drought six years ago.

Assistant state Forester Dan Kincaid says the situation could get much worse in late summer or fall when the leaves start falling from trees.

A pesky weekend brush fire in Calhoun spread over several acres near Joker during a season that rarely has such fires.

The fire spread through the dry ground cover.

Kincaid says "Unless there's a good wet period before fall fire season begins on October 1st, things could be bad."

A burn ban was issued in the fall of 2001, when 887 fires burned 86,000 acres. That was the worst fall in recent years.

Drought-like conditions along the Ohio River is of particular concern this year, with several inches below normal rainfall.

Yesterday, the Hur water gage showed 3/4" of rainfall, following a couple of storms that swept through the area.


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