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Rain Providing Limited Relief

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

The rain helped fire fighters tame flames across eastern Kentucky Tuesday, but forestry officials say the relief is only temporary.

They say cooler fall weather can bring new problems with long term effects on a major Kentucky industry.

As the rain made a brief stop in Eastern Kentucky, Division of Forestry official Mark Wiedewitsch wasted no time preparing for the next surge of fires in the Kentucky River District.

“The wind will pick up a little bit with the front coming through and it'll tend to dry things right back out,” Mark Wiedesitsch said.

Then Wiedewitsch expects it to stay dry for about three more weeks.

Even in places where fires have already been put out, Wiedewitsh says flames can re-ignite near newly fallen leaves...and that sparks long-term effects.

Fires also hurt the lumber industry, which employs more than 37-thousand people in Kentucky.

“Fires that we had 25 to 30 years ago, some of the timber that was burned then that's coming in now, of course is damaged and not as valuable as it would have been had we been able to protect it,” Wiedesitsch said.

So far this year Kentucky's forests suffered the damage of more than 15-hundred fires, surpassing the yearly average by more than 50.

There's still more than two months left in the fall forest fire season.

Forestry officials in the neighboring eastern district say today's rain helped them water the massive Hurricane Creek fire in Leslie County, down to 800 acres.


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