WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — It seems like it’s been one breezy day after another this winter.

And that doesn’t just mean it’s time to put on a jacket—the wind can put everything you and your neighbors own at risk.

It’s the first week of spring fire season…and West Virginia asks you to think before you burn.

To keep wildfire damage to a minimum, a statewide rule is in place from now until May 31st.

You can only burn natural vegetation between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., and if you do it outside of those hours, the fire department will have it put out.

But even within the permitted hours, they ask that you be mindful of what goes in your fire pit.

Be courteous. Be a good neighbor. Pay attention to weather conditions, your smoke conditions. The material that you’re burning, if you’re burning leaves that are wet, you’re going to make a lot of smoke, it’s going to get to the neighbors. Just use some common sense.

Deric Jamison, Assistant Chief, Wheeling Fire Department

No matter what time of year it is, burning anything other than yard waste is not allowed.

That goes for garbage, packing material, boxes and processed lumber.

You can call Wheeling’s Fire Department for a free burning permit—just so they know where they can expect to see it.

You’ll want to wait for one of those non-windy days to have a bonfire too.

Because if the wind blows the embers somewhere else…you will be on the hook for the costs of putting it out.