Saturday's Rain Not Enough To Extinguish Forest Fires

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Forestry officials have been battling forest fires for a week now and say the dry conditions keep fueling the flames, and Saturday's rain will not be enough to make a difference.

It's turning into a familiar scene in Eastern Kentucky, forest fires. Firemen have worked nonstop for at least six days with little relief.

"16 hours a day," said Emergency Firefighter J.D. Mullins.

"We give them eight hours rest and then get them back out and assign them to another fire," said District Forester Dexter Forester.

As the days go by, the fires get bigger. One burned 350 acres in Pike County last night.

"Fires have been pretty bad, but we've been controlling it and everything," Mullins said.

By the time one is out, another one is reported.

"Yeah, I'm getting a little wore out, but you gotta do what you gotta do," Mullins said.

Forestry officials say there will be fires as long as the conditions are dry. Rain finally started falling Saturday afternoon, but officials say it isn't enough to help.

"I don't think we'll get much from that, and with the humidity being low, a lot of that will evaporate before it hits the ground," Conley said.

"Sun will come out tomorrow and dry it up. Probably have a fire tomorrow," Mullins said.

With little help from the weather, fireman say the only way to get some relief, is for people to stop burning near the forests.

"Need to keep from doing that, and I think we wouldn't have any problems if you keep people from staying out of the woods," Mullins said.

Foresters can't control how the fires start, but they're doing their best, fatigue and all, to control how they end and hoping for more rain.

If you want to report anyone starting fires, you can call the arson hotline at at 1-800-27-ARSON.

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