UPDATE, APRIL 18, 7:25 P.M.:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The National Weather Service’s Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect Tuesday. Instead, the NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning due to low relative humidity, gusty winds and dry fuels.

The Red Flag Warning will be in effect from noon until 8 p.m. Tuesday in the following counties:

  • Lincoln
  • Kanawha
  • Roane
  • Calhoun
  • Mingo
  • Logan
  • Boone
  • Clay
  • Braxton
  • Gilmer
  • Lewis
  • Harrison
  • Taylor
  • McDowell
  • Wyoming
  • Upshur
  • Barbour
  • Northwest and southeast Raleigh
  • Northwest and southeast Fayette
  • Northwest and southeast Nicholas
  • Northwest and southeast Webster
  • Northwest and southeast Pocahontas
  • Northwest and southeast Randolph

Gov. Jim Justice’s ban on outdoor burning is still in effect.

ORIGINAL, APRIL 17, 6:40 P.M.:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Governor Jim Justice issued a proclamation Monday banning outdoor burning in West Virginia from April 17 to 24, unless earlier rescinded or further amended.

According to a release from the office of Gov. Justice, the proclamation was put into place in anticipation of dry and windy weather conditions expected within the next few days, which increase the risk of wildfires.

National Weather Service alerts map as of 6:30 p.m. on April 17

Parts of West Virginia are currently under a Fire Weather Watch, a Wind Advisory, a Hazardous Weather Outlook related to fire risk and a Special Weather Statement related to fire risk, according to the National Weather Service.

The following items are excluded from the ban:

  • Fires for the purpose of chemical production, where fire is essential to operation.
  • Fires for commercial land-clearing, such as mining, highway construction, and development: Provided, that a permit is obtained from the Division of Forestry prior to burning.
  • Training fires conducted under the direct control and supervision of qualified instructors at a training facility operated by a fire department or government entity: Provided, that a permit for such training fires is obtained from the Division of Forestry prior to burning.
  • Fires for outdoor cooking conducted for fund-raising events and charitable organizations: Provided, that a water source capable of extinguishing the fire must be present and a permit is obtained from the Division of Forestry prior to the operation.
  • Liquid fueled gas grills, lanterns or liquid-fueled gas fire stoves.

“This year, we have experienced a significant period of low humidity and below average rainfall,” Acting West Virginia Division of Forestry Director and State Forester Tony Evans said. “Since January 1, we have experienced 654 different fires in the state, and a current total of 4,121 acres burned. This ban helps ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the public, our forests, and private property from the damage that can occur from a forest fire.”

The Division of Forestry will enact a forest fire readiness plan and will help enforce the ban. The Division of Forestry and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will provide information about forest conditions during the time the proclamation is active.

The full proclamation can be read here.