Outdoor Burning Restrictions Effective First of October

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON,  WV — West Virginia Division of Forestry officials remind residents that the state’s fall forest fire season starts October 01, 2015, and runs through Dec. 31,  2015. During these three months, daytime burning is prohibited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

     State law requires a ring or safety strip around all outdoor fires to keep them from spreading into the woods. This safety strip must be cleared of all burnable material and be at least 10 feet wide completely around the debris pile.    

     Additional requirements of the state’s fire laws include staying on-site until the fire is extinguished and burning only vegetative materials like leaves, brush and yard clippings.

     Anyone who starts a fire that escapes and causes a wildfire or forest fire is subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 also will be assessed.

     The Division of Forestry offers these tips for safe outdoor burning:

  • Burn only after 5 p.m. — it’s the law — and put your fire out completely by 7 a.m.  
  • Put debris in several small piles instead of one large one.
  • Never burn on dry, windy days.
  • Select a safe place away from overhead power lines, phone lines or other obstructions and where the fire cannot spread into the woods or weedy or brushy areas.
  • Clear at least a 10-foot area around the fire and make sure the area is clear of all burnable material.
  • Have water and tools on hand to extinguish anything that may escape the burn area.
  • Be conscientious of neighbors and don’t burn debris that produces a lot of smoke at times when smoke does not rise. If the smoke spreads out near the ground instead of rising, put out the fire and burn another time.
  • Stay with the fire at all times until it is completely out. Leaving a fire unattended for any length of time is illegal.
  • Call 911 immediately if a fire does escape.
  • Contact local city government offices for possible burning ordinances when burning within city limits.

     Burning permits that allow burning during the restricted hours may be obtained by public utilities and people burning in conjunction with commercial,  manufacturing, mining or like activities. These burning permits cost $125 each and are issued by local Division of Forestry offices.  A permit is required for each site where this type of burning takes place.  Burning permits also may be obtained for agricultural purposes. No fee is required for permits issued for burning for agricultural purposes. Burning permits are not issued for burning yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, twigs and branches. 

West Virginia Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook

The Gilmer Free Press

SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV - The 2015 “Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook” is available on the Division of Natural Resources’ website and at DNR offices across the state, according to Paul Johansen, Chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.  Since 1971, the Wildlife Resources Section, in cooperation with volunteers from numerous other agencies, has conducted a fall mast survey to determine the abundance of mast produced by 18 species of trees and shrubs.

“The availability of fall foods has significant impacts on wildlife populations and harvests,” said Johansen. “Our biologists have used the mast survey data to demonstrate a strong correlation between mast conditions and deer, bear and turkey harvests. In addition to the impacts on harvests, the amount of food available each year can affect the reproductive success of numerous species which will affect population sizes in following years.”

Production of acorns is significantly less than in 2014 and will have noticeable effects on the 2015–2016 hunting seasons. However, hickory, walnut, and beech produced mast well above the 44-year average. Considering all 18 species of trees and shrubs surveyed, food conditions are slightly above the long-term average.

“It is very important for hunters to scout and consider the type and amount of food available in the areas that they hunt,” added Johansen. Hunters can find a wealth of facts in the ‘Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook’ and it should provide them valuable information before heading into the field.”

Copies of the 2015 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook may be found on the DNR website at under “Hunting.”  Information analyzing mast conditions and wildlife harvests also is available on the website.

Glowing’ Turtle

The Gilmer Free Press

ust look at it glow! Above, you can catch a glimpse of a very special find — what may be the first instance of biofluorescence ever spotted in a reptile.

In other words, it glows in the dark. Sort of.

Unlike bioluminescent creatures, those with biofluorescence don’t create their own glow through chemical reactions. But they are able to absorb blue light and re-emit it as a different color entirely — usually red, green or orange. You need a high-energy light, like an ultraviolet lightbulb, to make the colors appear.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber, a marine biologist from the City University of New York, spotted the turtle by chance while filming more common biofluorescent critters in Solomon Islands.

Gruber let the turtle — a critically endangered hawksbill — go on its way, so it’s not as if the glowing has been closely studied. “It’d be fairly difficult to study this turtle because there are so few left and they’re so protected,“ he told National Geographic.

Based on his brief observation, however, Gruber suspects that the red color seen on the turtle may come from biofluorescing algae stuck to its shell — but that the green is all turtle.

Since the hawksbill was found in an area full of glowing sharks and coral, it’s possible that the biofluorescence is a camouflage adaptation. But with just one brief look at this very special reptile, it’s impossible to know how common the adaptation is, how the turtle manages it, or what its purpose is.

Weekly Analysis: Grain Markets

The Gilmer Free Press

Corn (Cash): The DTN National Corn Index (NCI.X, national average cash price) closed at $3.55, up 12 cents for the week. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend remains sideways-to-up with resistance at $3.67. This price marks the 50% retracement level of the sell-off from $4.06 through the low of $3.28. If the NCI.X were to climb above the August high $3.65 by the end of the month, and close above the August settlement of $3.40, it would establish a bullish outside month on the long-term monthly chart. This would confirm the major trend remains up.

Corn (Dec futures): The December contract closed 11.75cts higher at $3.89. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend remains sideways-to-up with initial resistance at the trendline mark of $3.92 1/2 this week, then the 4-week high of $3.95. Weekly stochastics are bullish above the oversold level of 20%.

Soybeans (Cash): The DTN National Soybean Index (NSI.X, national average cash price) closed at $8.35, up 18 cents for the week. The NSI.X looks to have posted a bullish 2-week reversal last week, indicating the secondary (intermediate-term) trend has turned up. Also, weekly stochastics established a bullish crossover below the oversold level of 20%, confirming the pattern on the price chart. If the NSI.X extends its rally through the end of the month to close near its monthly high of $8.50, it would set the stage for a potential bullish island reversal on its long-term chart.

Soybeans (Futures): The November contract closed 22.00cts higher at $8.89 1/4. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend is sideways with resistance at the 4-week high of $8.94 1/2 and support at the 4-week low (contract low) of $8.53 1/4. Weekly stochastics posted a bullish crossover below the oversold level of 20% at the end of last week indicating upside momentum could begin to build. If Nov soybeans see a bullish breakout, flipping the sideways range of 41.25 cents ($8.94 1/2 to $8.53 1/4) puts the secondary target at $9.35 3/4. This would also be a test of resistance near $9.42 3/4, the 23.6% retracement level of the contract’s downtrend from its high of $12.32.

SRW Wheat (Cash): The DTN SRW Wheat National Index (SR.X, national average cash price) closed at $4.49, up 21 cents for the week. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend is up with initial resistance at $4.61. This price marks the 23.6% retracement level of the previous downtrend from $6.23 though the low $4.11. The 33% retracement level is up at $4.81.

HRW Wheat (Cash): The DTN HRW Wheat National Index (HW.X, national average cash price) closed at $4.44, up 21 cents for the week. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend is up with an initial target of $4.62. This price marks the 23.6% retracement level of the previous sell-off from $6.41 through the recent low of $4.06. The 33% retracement level is up at $4.85.

HRS Wheat (Cash): The DTN HRS Wheat National Index (SW.X, national average cash price) closed at $4.96, up 36 cents for the week. The secondary (intermediate-term) trend is up with weekly stochastics bullish. Initial resistance is pegged at $4.97, the 23.6% retracement level of the previous downtrend from $6.68 through the recent low of $4.44. The 33% retracement level is up at $5.19.

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