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Fire now contained in Morehead

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - Smoke could still be seen rising from the hilltops, in Morehead, but this smoke was different. This smoke is coming from the fire crews setting a backburn trying to keep the wildfire within the containment lines.

"They told us that more than likely they will have it contained this evening," said James Hall, who lives in a home near the wildfire.

He says for the last few days the fire has had him worried.

"When the direction changed they did a backburn, and the fire started up there and it was just kind of rolled off the hill like lava. I got kind of nervous last night and went up there and watered down everything within 20 feet in behind my building and the mobile home that I own."

It was supposed to stay a small 12 acre fire, but the flames jumped the lines Wednesday night. Then Friday afternoon, the US Forest Service said the fire was finally contained after burning roughly 75 acres.

"We're pretty comfortable that that's going to be our containment size," explained Dave Manner with the US Forest Service.

"It is reassuring especially after last night because I didn't get much sleep. I was up about every hour checking to see if it was coming across," added Hall.

Manner says his crews caught a break because of the weather.

"We've not had a lot of wind on it and wind is always a factor especially when you have steep terrain. So the wind has not been a problem for us so far."

Along with the weather, the Forest Service plan helped cut the fire off from growing. Thursday night they cut new fire lines, and Friday afternoon started a series of small fires to backburn the area behind the wildfire.

"Knowing that they have done what they needed to as far as the backburn and knowing that it's not going to jump that line that's coming to my house it's a whole lot easier to rest," said Hall.

"It's very good news to know that the tactics that have been utilized have been successful," said Pam Martin with the USFS.

While the US Forest Service says the fire has burned through several acres, they say the damage has been kept to a minimum. At this time, the USFS plans to have a crew watch the fire over the weekend, but they expect to let the fire burn itself out.


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