WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Forest Fires Are Burning Around The Region

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Firefighters are battling forest fires across eastern Kentucky.

The falling leaves, dry conditions, and the work of a few arsonists are igniting fires across the mountains.

One of the largest burning in the region is in the Coldiron area of Harlan County, near the Bell County line.

Forestry officials say they are not only battling the fires, but the arsonists who continue to set them, and they say the weather conditions are not making things any easier.

Forestry officials say in the last couple of days, someone has set several fires up and down highway 119 in the Coldiron area of Harlan County.

Gary Carmical says one of the fires has burned more than 150 acres of his land, “It's bad that anybody would come and set the mountains on fire, and destroy timber.”

Carmical could soon lose more than trees, flames are getting close to several of his cabins.

Weather conditions are making it very tough to contain fires right now.

“With the temperatures like this, the humidity dropping, with the leaves falling, it's only going to get worse as we go along until we get rain,” Lem Johnson said.

Forestry officials say when conditions become ripe for fires, some people tend to copy cat others who set fires.

“When these conditions happen we have multiple fires in high visibility areas, along major roadways or near communities, then it seems like we start having increased occurrences of these fires. The arsonists get out there and set more of them,” Johnson said.

In Coldiron, the flames have already burned more than 300 acres.

Forestry officials want to remind everyone we are in forest fire season and that means you can't burn from six in the morning until six at night.

They say local burning bans may have to be put in place if the fires get any worse.


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