West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Wet Spring Kept Forest Fires in Check

6/1/2011
Charleston, W.Va. – Officials at the West Virginia Division of Forestry say this year’s wet spring weather helped keep low the number of forest fires and the number of acres burned.

From Jan. 1 through May 31, the agency recorded 321 fires and 1,715 acres burned. In comparison, for the same period in 2010 the agency reported 413 fires and 12,067 acres burned.

Debris fires continue to be the leading cause of fires in West Virginia because they can easily escape their confines. Of the 321 fires this spring, 135 were the result of people allowing debris fires to escape and ignite the woods.

To help combat this, the Division of Forestry requested and received from the West Virginia Legislature amendments to the state’s burning laws. Beginning Oct. 1, 2011, outdoor burning will be prohibited until after 5 p.m. during fall and spring forest fire seasons. All fires must be extinguished by 7 a.m. No outdoor burning will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during forest fire seasons. Up until now, outdoor burning hours started at 4 p.m.

Director/State Forester Randy Dye says that pushing back the outdoor burning hours by just one hour will help reduce the number of fires in the state.

“The potential for forest fires is greatest during the afternoon because of daytime heat, lower humidity and stronger winds. Even starting a fire an hour later at 5 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. will go a long way toward decreasing the risk of a fire spreading because of weather conditions.”

In addition to changes in the forest fire season burning hours, the Legislature also increased the maximum fine for illegal burning or escaped fires from $300 to $1,000. Fines now range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $1,000. A new civil penalty of $200 also may be assessed; money collected from the civil penalty will supplement the agency’s wild land fire suppression budget.

For more information about the state’s outdoor burning laws and fire safety, visit the Division of Forestry’s website at www.wvforestry.com.

Contact Information

Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist
304.957.9342 or 304.541.8102
Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov