Hundreds of Acres Burning at Red River Gorge

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

Dozens of firefighters are battling a forest fire that's burning hundreds of acres in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Its happening in the Chimney Top Rock area of Red River Gorge at the Powell-Wolfe County line.

Forestry officials have now confirmed to 27 NEWSFIRST that the fire started due to a campfire that wasn't properly extinguished.

When the fire was first reported late Friday afternoon, only about 5 acres were involved. But, because of the extremely rugged terrain and steep cliffs, crews were pulled off prior to darkness for safety reasons, and it is now a 300 acre fire.

"It's inside a geological area, we've got lots of high cliff lines. We've got leaf litter on the ground, and their objective is to hold this fire using the natural barriers of the river and the trails that are in there," said Evelyn Morgan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forestry Dept.

Morgan says once the flames burn to the control lines, the fire will cover 560 acres.

Only a section of one trail has had to be closed, but drivers on Highway 77 had trouble finding their way through all the smoke Saturday morning.

The extremely dry summer and fall definitely played a role in the fire.

Two new fires also started after a debris burning escaped. That fire is now burning in the southern end of the forest. The person responsible has been charged.

A burning ban is now in place for the Daniel Boone National Forest. Campfires are not permitted outside the recreation areas. But, officials say that could soon change if the area doesn't get a significant amount of rain.


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