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Lets talk Kudzu!

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  • Lets talk Kudzu!

    Kudzu flames strike Seneca
    No injuries reported from Sunday fire

    By Jon Robertson (Contact / Staff Bio)
    February 10, 2008 - 11:46 p.m. EST

    Seneca firefighters reported to the 700 block of East Main Street to extinguish a kudzu fire Sunday evening.

    SENECA — Burning kudzu sent flames 30 feet into the sky Sunday evening.

    Seneca firefighters, along with four other local agencies and the South Carolina Forestry Commission, reported to the 700 block of East Main Street around 8:20 p.m. Engulfed kudzu spread about 300 yards wide and hit some utility poles, though authorities reported no injuries or structure damage, according to Lieutenant David Wright of Seneca Fire Department.

    Residents in the immediate area received a voluntary evacuation notice while firefighters spent half-an-hour controlling the flames, Wright said. Those residents were safe to return soon after the incident.

    Firefighters from Friendship, Corinth-Shiloh, Keowee, and Crossroads were on the scene. Forestry Commission members were in the area that day on standby due to high risk for wildfires, according to Wright.

    “Wind was the biggest problem,” Wright said, describing the need for outside assistance. “If it hadn’t been for the wind, we could have handled it, no problem.”

    Local authorities are investigating the incident, as no cause was determined Sunday night.

    Kudzu is becoming a big problem also in Eastern Kentucky as a fuel for wildfires.Where and when they this non-native plant find its way to the states.I believe it to be non-native.Any information available on how to stop this vine from taking over.Kudzu as a wildfire fuel sure changes the ball game for us ground pounders.It's a ready made ladder fuel.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by coldfront; 02-11-2008, 11:00 PM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  • #2
    Well for starters:

    Kudzu information

    Invasive doesn't begin to describe this stuff. A farmer/firefighter friend of mine once commented that he would kill a man who deliberately planted kudzu on one of his fields. He was only half kidding.

    One discrepancy I noticed in the link regards the use of kudzu for erosion control. As a legume, it tends to loosen soil and accelerates rather than controls erosion.

    Another friend who used to work for the TN Division of Forestry relayed a story about fighting a wildland fire in kudzu along the Mississippi River bluffs in NW Tennessee. One of their firefighters was dragging line when he disappeared from view. He had plunged through kudzu that had bridged an erosion ravine that was close to 80 ft. deep! He was dangling from the hose and they were able to pull him to safety without injury. Beware in hill country!

    Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee has done some pretty serious kudzu abatement and might have good information, as would state ag. extension services if you are considering that route.

    Good luck with your research.

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