KY div forestryFRANKFORT, Ky. (2/15/14) – It doesn’t make sense for wildfires to start easily when Kentucky has had such a run of cold, wet weather but how wet or cold the ground is has little to do with how vulnerable dead grass is to a spark.

“Despite recent precipitation, fine dead fuels like grass, leaves and twigs are rapidly dried with minimal sunlight and wind,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “With only a few hours of sunlight and wind these fuels can become primed for carrying a wildfire.  It is very important that people not develop a false confidence during wet conditions, and take all necessary precautions with any outdoor burning.”

Outdoor burning restrictions take effect Feb. 15

Kentucky law designates Feb. 15 through April 30 as spring forest fire hazard season. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The law is intended to prevent forest fires by allowing outdoor burning only after 6 p.m. when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread.

Harsh temperatures mean drier vegetation, making it easier for a fire to start and spread.

Even if the ground is so wet you can’t walk without sinking, the vegetation on top of the ground is tinder just waiting for a spark to ignite. The division reports there have been 55 fires burning 1,506 acres since Jan. 1, 2014.

“This law is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent wildfires,” said MacSwords. “Downed trees, branches and leaves from winter storms become ‘forest fuels’ that increase the danger of a forest fire. By adhering to the law and burning after 6 p.m., fires are less likely to escape and threaten people, their property and the forests of Kentucky.  

“Of course arsonists don’t pay attention to burning restrictions and a large part of our wildfires are started by arsonists,” said MacSwords.  “The best way to stop arsonists from endangering lives and property is for people to make the call. By that I mean call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.”

People should contact their local fire department if they have any questions about local restrictions regarding burning.

For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at (800) 866-0555 or visit the KDF website.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 17, 2015 8955

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 13, 2015 6332

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 14, 2015 5483

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 5254

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 16, 2015 3537

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 8955

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8569

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 20, 2015 3390

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 19, 2015 2400

ATV Ride, Cookout Raises Funds for Shanice Bean…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 20, 2015 1515

Madisonville Man Charged with Sex Abuse of Two…

by SurfKY News
April 20, 2015 1257

Traffic Stop Results in DUI, Drug Possession,…

by SurfKY News
April 19, 2015 1228

Tru Blue BBQ Wins Earlington Downtown Showdown BBQ

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 20, 2015 980

Pick Greenville's 'Saturdays on the Square' Free…

by Beth Newman
April 18, 2015 967

Home, Garden Show Concludes Today at Ballard…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 19, 2015 860

Children Thrilled with Superhero Pancake Breakfast

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 19, 2015 826

Gov. Beshear Orders Flags to Half-Staff on April…

by Office of the Governor
April 19, 2015 681

KET Documentary Follows UK Doctor's Work Helping…

by Elizabeth Adams