A Cutler man is in fair condition after sustaining second-degree burns on more than half of his body while trying to burn brush this week.
According to a release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Brian Spataro, 31, of 365 Vaughn Road, doused a pile of brush on his property with gasoline around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. When he lit it, the fire flashed, burning him.
"When he got burned, he went inside, put some burn cream on it, and from there he drove himself to the hospital," Sheriff Larry Mincks said.
Spataro was initially treated at a Parkersburg hospital but was later taken by medical helicopter to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. A spokeswoman said Wednesday that he was listed in fair condition.
Mincks said he does not anticipate any charges in this case, although it is illegal to use an accelerant for a brush fire.
"If you use any accelerant, you run the risk of flash," said Jeff Lauer, chief of the Fearing Volunteer Fire Department and director of the Washington County Emergency Management Agency.
Restrictions on open burning
Fires must be more than 1,000 feet from a neighbor's inhabited building.
No burning when an air pollution alert, warning or emergency is in effect.
Fire/smoke cannot obscure visibility on roadways, railways or airfields.
No waste generated off the premises may be burned.
No burning within village or city limits or restricted areas.
Food waste, dead animals and materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt or made from petroleum should never be burned.
State law bans outdoor burning between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the months of March, April, May, October and November, but Lauer said that's a good rule to follow year-round.
"They need to make sure it's in the evening, after 6 o'clock so the dew's set in," he said.
With much of Washington County under moderate drought conditions recently, grass is more susceptible to burning, when ordinarily it wouldn't be this time of year, Lauer said.
State law also requires burning to be done at least 1,000 feet from a neighbor's inhabited dwelling and prohibits the burning of materials generated off the premises. Burning cannot be conducted when an air pollution alert, warning or emergency is in effect.