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.

In Other News...

DCSO Investigates Alleged Burlary

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (3/30/15) — According to a Daviess County Sheriff's Office report, on March 29, 2015 at 9:53p.m.,… Read More

Lady Panthers Split Two Games

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (3/30/15) — The Daviess County softball team split a pair of games in Louisville Saturday. In the first… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 5926

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5443

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5193

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5129

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4291

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 4136

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13867

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11639

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 30, 2015 3572

Man Charged with Child Abuse After Allegedly…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 30, 2015 2187

Juvenile Arrested for Cruelty to Animals

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 30, 2015 1955

Two Charged in Bremen Meth Bust

by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
March 30, 2015 1797

Man Charged for Selling Drugs from Red Cardinal…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 30, 2015 1554

Report of Suspicious Man Ends with PI, Meth…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 1253

Huge Turnout Joins to Support Shanice Bean Family

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 29, 2015 1088

Should Inactivity be Classified as a Disease?

by Mallory Powell
March 29, 2015 913

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 30, 2015 912

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 30,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 29, 2015 831

North American Stainless to Make $150 Million…

by Office of the Governor