CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Responding to a winter storm State of Emergency declared by Gov. Jim Justice on Feb. 16, the West Virginia Division of Forestry (WVDOF) dispatched foresters to clear fallen trees from roadways in hard-hit southern counties.
The Governor’s State of Emergency originally covered Cabell, Lincoln, Putnam, and Wayne counties and was shortly expanded to include Jackson and Mason counties. At 7 p.m. the first day of the emergency declaration, the WVDOF called 16 Foresters into action.
The foresters operated chainsaws to clear fallen trees from roadways in Cabell, Putnam, Wayne, and Mason counties. Two foresters trained six members of the West Virginia National Guard to carry out the work as well.
WVDOF foresters are certified to train through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). This group was formed in the United States as a result of the aftermath of a major wildfire season in 1970. The NWCG established a national set of training and equipment standards to be standardized across the different agencies.
In addition to performing their regular duties such as promoting forest health, assisting landowners and working with the state’s timber industry, West Virginia foresters are called upon at need to assist at state and local levels during natural disasters such as wildfires, floods and winter storms.
For more information on the WVDOF, visit wvforestry.com.