Fire threat remains despite recent rains

March 15, 2016

Kentucky Press News Service

The Kentucky Division of Forestry said in a news release that it reminds Kentucky landowners and homeowners that wildfires can strike any time where grass and brush are dry enough to burn.

Each year wildfires needlessly threaten thousands of lives and destroy homes and structures.

“Despite our wet weather, 102 fires have burned 1,000 acres since February 15.” William H. Steele Jr., director of the Division of Forestry, said in the release. “Although the Kentucky Division of Forestry is responsible for suppressing wildfire, the agency relies heavily on public cooperation and assistance from local fire departments.”

The best way to protect property is to prevent wildfires from getting started. Homeowners who live in or near forested areas should practice sound firewise principles such as pruning and removing flammable plants and debris. Reducing the amount of fuel from shrubs, dead plant material and firewood will help create a defensible space around a home.

Unsafe burning of brush piles and other debris may lead to escaped fires. Safety precautions should be taken and weather conditions considered before conducting any outdoor burning. It is illegal to burn garbage or other materials except natural plant matter, such as yard waste and brush. County solid waste programs have information on debris collection or drop-off sites.

Check with the closest local fire department, the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality and the Kentucky Division of Waste Management to ensure compliance with local and other state outdoor-burning regulations.

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