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Kentucky News

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  • jns2024
    In Greenup County we've had a moderate number of brush fires and illegal burnings, but we have been able to keep them under control.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Fire Crews Hoping for Help From Rain

    Fire Crews Hoping for Help From Rain

    Tuesday, Oct 16, 2007 - 05:27 PM Updated: 07:21 PM

    A fire, which has burned 1,000 acres of woodlands in Leslie County, continues, forcing haze over downtown Hyden,Kentucky.

    At the noon hour in downtown Hyden haze from a nearby forest fire hung over Main Street. Only a few drops of rain fell, intermittently, in Leslie County Tuesday as fire crews worked for the 18th day in a row on an arson fire which has now burned 1,000 acres of woodlands. No structures have been damaged.

    "It's very hard to breath," said Betty Bowling who was working at a bed and breakfast near the current fire. "It's like you're in a room with a whole bunch of people smokin'' and you can't get out." Bowling says the fire crew has done a good job keeping the fire from buildings, but if the winds get up and the fire jumps the line, "it's gone."

    Fire crews cut a fire line near the bed and breakfast, plus the tiny post office in Wendover, as the fire neared those structures.

    Fires continue throughout the southeast as extremely dry conditions have forest officials worried. Rain in the forecast is the best hope now, but it will take lots of rain to lessen the drought conditions.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    SLADE, Ky. (AP) - State officials say there's no end in sight for the scores of wildfires burning through eastern Kentucky and sustained by a months-long drought.

    More than 15-hundred wildfires have burned some 40-thousand acres of forest, mostly in eastern Kentucky.

    Kentucky Division of Forestry chief Leah McSwords says this week's smattering of light drizzles only exacerbated the problem by blowing more leaves to fuel the flames.

    Meanwhile, more than 300 firefighters for the forestry division continue to wage an uphill battle against fires that continue to spread. Even fires that have been initially contained with fire lines - areas cleared of debris by firefighters - manage to cross the barriers by burning through dried out roo

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Floyd County

    Forestry officials seeking help for fire season

    Fletcher bans all outdoor burning

    By TIM PRESTON - The Independent

    BETSY LANE — Forestry officials in eastern Kentucky are still trying to fill their rosters with emergency fire fighters in anticipation of a challenging fire season following drought conditions since early spring.

    Dexter Conley, district forester for the Eastern District serving Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin and Magoffin counties, said they have already been battling forest and brush fires in the southern Floyd County communities of Wheelwright, Branhams Creek and Mud Creek, as well as fires “kind of spread out” in Pike County.

    Similar fires have also been reported in Knott and Perry counties, Conley said, adding forestry officials in those counties indicated the problem seemed to be less threatening Thursday.

    Conley said the human factor will almost certainly make the greatest difference in forest and brush fire statistics this fall and winter.

    “Lightning starts five or six fires each year, and the other 99 percent of them are caused by people,” he said, citing weekend activities including all-terrain vehicle trail riding, camping and alcohol consumption.

    Area residents living near brush or forested land are urged to clear a 30-foot perimeter around their homes, clearing any dried leaves, grasses or debris which will help flames access their dwellings.

    Conley urged qualified individuals to apply for several paid positions as emergency firefighters, and said applications are available and can be submitted through Kentucky Department of Forestry offices at Betsy Lane and Hazard.

    After a summer-long drought that has left the landscape parched and extremely vulnerable to wildland fire, forest supervisor Jerome Perez has issued an emergency forest-wide order that prohibits, “building, maintaining, attending or using fire, charcoal, or campfire outside of a developed recreational site” on the Daniel Boone National Forest.

    Portable lanterns and stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are permitted, which allows for the use of tabletop and backpack stoves popular with many campers and hikers.

    “Unless Kentucky receives considerable rainfall, we expect this fall to be one of the worst fire seasons on record,” said Perez. “The emergency order is needed to guard the safety of our visitors, employees, forest neighbors and their property.

    “Already this year, the Daniel Boone National Forest has experienced nearly 100 fires burning 6,500 acres. This is already 3,000 more blackened acres than all of last year, and the official fall fire season just began on Monday.”

    Statewide, the number of wildfires is much higher. So far in 2007, according to the Kentucky Division of Forestry in Frankfort, more than 1,500 fires have burned over 41,000 acres across the commonwealth.

    To assist firefighters and help further prevent any accidential fires, Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed an executive order Thursday night banning all outdoor burning across the state. The order requests local governments direct their law enforcement personnel to aid state agencies in the execution of the burning ban.

    It also authorizes the Division of Forestry to request federal assistance to minimize human suffering, restore public service and alleviate unanticipated financial obligations resulting from any fires. Exceptions to the burn ban must be approved in advance by the Envrionmental and Public Protection Cabinet. Individuals caught violating the order are subject to fines and/or imprisonment.

    TIM PRESTON can be reached at [email protected] or (606) 326-2651.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Kentucky Firefighters pulled East KY.

    Firefighters pulled to E.Ky.


    Oct 1st 2007

    Just five days into fall forest fire season, forestry officials say they have already moved firefighters from other parts of the state into Eastern Kentucky to assist with battlling a large number of fires in the region.Extreme drought conditions have led to increased fire activity in the region over the last several weeks,straining firefighting resources, said KDF Director Leah MacSwords."many of our firefighters have been working for 15-20 days straight and now need some relief."She said."we're going to provide that in the form of our firefighters from other districts that are not experiencing as much fire activity."Firefighters are being deployed from KDF's six district offices whosw areas of responsibility generally lie west of I-75 and North of I-64.Those are the Western,Northeastern,Green River,South Central,Central and Bluegrass Districts.With little to no rain in the forecast for eastern and southeastern Kentucky for the next week to ten days,the KDF is not only repositioning its own resources but also is taking steps to ensure that aid will be available from other states and from federal agencies."several other states have assured us that they will send help if we need it".said MacSwords.The fall 2007 fire season is shaping up to be one of the worst in the last 20 years.There already have been 1,536 fires this year.
    Last edited by coldfront; 10-07-2007, 09:21 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • ChiefChip
    Status of Natural Bridge Area

    Hey All,

    I have a small place in the Natural Bridge area off of 715. I know that in Northern Ky, we have a severe threat. What is fire the status in that area? Any fires that I need to worry about? I will be down there on Friday 10-5. Any info is helpful.

    Leave a comment:

  • Paul343
    They're anticipating such a bad fire season this year our local Div. of forestry office is recruiting and training Emergency crews from local Vol. departments. I put in an app. for it, training starts next week. It's gonna be a long fall..........

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Ky FF Injured Cornfield Fire

    Kentucky Crews Battle Field Fire
    One firefighter was injured

    Firefighters in Glendale, Kentucky responded to a 100-acre cornfield fire on the afternoon of Sept. 20.

    Firefighters from Sonora, Elizabethtown, Valley Creek, White Mills, Stephensburg, Upton and Central Hardin -- as well as the Division of Forestry -- battled the blaze.

    The fire was under control within three hours.

    One firefighter was transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital by Hardin County EMS with injuries sustained while fighting the fire.

    The American Red Cross provided food and drinks for the fire crews.

    Drought conditions and atmospheric heating caused by the fire spawned an incredible "dust devil" that was several hundred feet high.

    Leave a comment:

  • ladymed
    Saw on the news the other night about one fire in Rowan County. Said it was close to some homes, but the residents weren't concerned, because they said they knew Forestry was taking care of things (or something like that - can't remember the exact wording). Way to go Forestry!! They have a very difficult job, and it's nice to hear the public give them a vote of confidence during this extreme heat/dry season!

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Teen arrested in Bullitt brush fire

    Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with a brush fire that scorched a field and tied up traffic in Bullitt County yesterday.

    At 5:14 p.m. yesterday, just two hours after the fire was reported, Shepherdsville police charged the teenager with “willfully setting fire on land not owned by self,” said Michaela Frank, a clerk with the Shepherdsville Police Department.
    The teen has not been identified because he is a juvenile.

    The fire scorched a three- to-four-acre vacant lot and partially wooded area near the Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville and closed one southbound lane of traffic on Interstate 65 for an hour as five fire departments and other agencies responded to the blaze.

    “We believed it was intentionally set,” said Shepherdsville Fire Chief Brad Whittaker.
    Hot temperatures made conditions nearly unbearable, and rough terrain made the blaze particularly difficult to navigate, Whittaker said.

    “Those conditions just literally beat us down in a hurry,” he said. It took two hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control, and emergency workers were on the scene for four hours.

    Eight firefighters were taken to Jewish Hospital South and treated for heat-related injuries. Five of the injured were from the Shepherdsville Fire Department, two were from Nichols and one was a Kentucky Department of Forestry officer.

    “By the time you realized you were dehydrated, it was almost too late,” Whittaker said.

    Shepherdsville, Lebanon Junction, Nichols, Mount Washington and Zoneton fire departments responded to the call, as well as Bullitt County EMS and Bullitt County Emergency Management and several police departments.

    “I’d much rather not have one like that for a while,” Whittaker said. “I’ve been to a lot of grass fires and brush fires but that was the worst one. Those were absolutely horrible conditions to work in,” he said.

    Reporter Melissa Gagliardi

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Weather Causing More Brush Fires

    Weather Causing More Brush Fires

    Posted: 8:42 PM Feb 28, 2006
    Last Updated: 8:42 PM Feb 28, 2006
    Reporter: Ryan Dearbone

    Justin Watt, Executive Director of the Smiths Grove branch of the Kentucky Division of Forestry says so far this year Kentucky has had 342 brush fires for a total of a little over 7000 acres burnt.

    The unseasonably warm temperatures and changing conditions seem to be the culprit for these blazes.

    "We have a lot more brush fires anytime you have drier conditions, windy conditions."

    This past weekend alone...there were 92 brush fires reported throughout the state.

    So far the number of brush fires has increased in Kentucky over the past couple of years.

    "Last fall and this spring, we have had a little bit increase in fire activity. The past two or three years has been slower for us. But the past 2 fire seasons, we have seen fire activity pickup quite a bit."

    With the weather being less than ideal for controlled fires, the Kentucky Division of Forestry wants area residents to obstain from lighting up debris...at least for now.

    "A lot of times when your relative humidity drops like it did yesterday, you mix that with high winds and you have a lot more fires. A lot of people thinks they can burn some debris, a brush pile and it ends up getting away from them."

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Rowan County Wildfires

    Rowan County Wildfires

    Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 05:44 PM

    Flames raged through parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rowan County over the weekend.

    Forest officials fought the fire with fire.

    To protect the people that live there, the Moorhead Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and Kentucky Division of Forestry set their own fire. The plan is to burn up any debris that could fuel the wild fire.

    "...Once the main fire gets to that area that's already burned, there's no fuel left and it will go out," E.J. Bunzendahl with the U.S. Forest Service said.

    Forest officials say because of the drought the season for wildfires has started earlier than normal.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Rowan County

    Rowan Issues No Burn Ban

    Posted: 11:34 PM Sep 22, 2007
    Last Updated: 11:34 PM Sep 22, 200 A An eastern Kentucky county has issued a state of emergency due to the current drought situation.
    Rowan county officials are banning any kind of burning in the area.
    Officials say the a fire in theses dry conditions could cause a spark a huge fire.
    Crews are already working to put out two wildfires in Rowan County.

    Fire Started 09-20-2007 Cause (fireworks)
    80-100 Acres near Clearfield,Kentucky / Dark Hollow Fire

    Fire started 09-21-2007 cause (control burn escapes)
    35-40 Acres near Waltz,Kentucky / Rock Fork Fire
    Last edited by coldfront; 09-24-2007, 07:44 AM.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Pike County Kentucky Arson arrest!

    Pike County Man Facing Arson Charges

    Posted: 7:01 PM Sep 21, 2007

    Pike County man is in jail after police say he started a forest fire.

    State police say a trooper arrested Danny Hall Thursday night. He is being held at the Pike County Detention Center on multiple charges including arson, and violating a burning ban.

    Leave a comment:

  • coldfront
    Several firefighters had to be treated for heat exhaustion Wednesday while fighting a wildfire in Bullitt County in temperatures over 100 degrees.

    A Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighter and six firefighters from local fire departments became ill from heat exhaustion while suppressing a small wildland fire in Bullitt County, according to a release Friday.

    The KDF employee and the other firefighters were treated at a local hospital and released.

    KDF Director Leah MacSwords is very concerned about the safety of Kentucky's wildland firefighters.

    "The recent heat wave has created an extremely dangerous situation for wildland firefighters," said MacSwords. "Normally, wildland fires are rare in the summer months, but the severe drought coupled with extreme temperatures has increased the number of fires by more than 500 percent over last summer. Last August, the division responded to only three fires; this year there have already been 24 fires this month and more are expected."

    Conditions are not expected to improve until the state receives sufficient rainfall. The long-range forecast is predicting below-average rainfall through the end of the year. If the forecast holds, KDF is expecting a very serious fall forest fire hazard season, which begins Oct. 1. Similar drought conditions to the ones we are presently experiencing occurred in 1999 and contributed to three consecutive years of serious forest fire hazard seasons.

    Leave a comment:

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