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Despite Recent Rainfall, Forest Fires Continue To Burn

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Despite the rain, some forest fires continue to burn in our region.

Rangers are working longer hours and more days to fight them and are also battling fatigue.

Pike County Forest Ranger Ronnie Stiltner has worked almost everyday in November.

“Fires are burning quicker, getting bigger on us, hard to control,” Ronnie Stiltner, Pike County Ranger said.

He and other rangers are working 16 hour days without many off days.

“As soon as a crew gets done with a particular fire, well then they're sent to another part of the county to start another fire,” Bill Knott Chief Division Forester said.

“It's wearing down, getting tired quick. It's taking a toll on them,” Stiltner said.

Just in the last ten days, 54 forest fires burned two thousand acres in the Big Sandy region. Foresters say the terrain adds to the fatigue.

Even without rest, rangers say they must work as long as fires are burning.

Rangers say the current rain is helping, but it is only slowing them down, not putting them out. Foresters say they need three to four days of non-stop rain to make a difference.

Rangers say the rain is knocking all the leaves onto the ground, and they worry this means fires will be worse when the rain is gone they hope rain gives them a break before the fires get bigger.

Crews say arson is still the number one cause of fires in eastern Kentucky and remind everyone to report any suspicious activity to the arson hotline.


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