MORGANTOWN - City officials will remove furniture and other flammable items from porches and lawns this week in an effort to combat celebratory fires following the nationally televised football game this weekend.
The abatement effort, which covers much of downtown Morgantown and will be effective Thursday through Monday, requires that residents remove any furniture, construction materials, debris and other combustible materials from porches, balconies or lawns.
According to an email sent to students at West Virginia University, "Listed materials found on Thursday morning will be revoked and taken to the city garage, where only the salvageable furniture will be held for five working days."
Residents of properties who choose not to comply will be subject to misdemeanor citations with possible fines ranging from $100 to $1,000.
The Morgantown Fire Department hopes that this weekend's abatement will reduce the number of intentionally lit fires, a problem that Morgantown often deals with during times of celebration.
"We know we're going to have fires, but they aren't going to be as bad," said Fire Department Chief Mark Caravasos.
WVU junior Mark Kookan, who lives in an area covered in the abatement, doesn't believe it will keep people from intentionally lighting fires after the game.
"I just can't see it putting a stop to people's desire to burn," Kookan said. "It might hide things to burn, but I feel that if I see someone burning something, I want to be a part of that."