A statewide moratorium on outdoors burning is in effect.

Governor Bob Wise has placed a ban on all outdoor burning starting at midnight Sunday (10/28/01). The ban has resulted from extremely dry conditions with new fallen leaves, resulting in a high potential for forest fires.

There will be no outdoor fires, including campfires or debris fires.

The ban does not include liquid-fueled gas fire stoves, grills or lanterns.

Enforcing the ban are the Office of Emergency Services, Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources, State Fire Marshall and the West Virginia State Police.

An outbreak of forest fires prompted Governor Bob Wise to declare a state of emergency, yesterday. Wise called up 100 National Guard troops to help battle the blazes.

The state Division of Forestry says there have been 230 fires statewide that have burned more than nine-thousand acres just in the last week. Since the fire season began October 1, the state has seen nearly 300 forest fires. About 85 percent were intentionally set or caused by debris burning.

The department's daily fire report shows fires are burning in Grant, Hardy, Braxton, Clay, McDowell, Wyoming, Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mingo and Wayne counties.

Below-average rainfall totals, high winds and warm temperatures have helped fuel the fires. Wise says the National Guard is needed to help keep the fires under control.

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