FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 12, 2007) – Fourteen full-time and five seasonal Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) firefighters are leaving today to assist in fighting wildfires in Idaho.
An additional employee left Wednesday to assist with information and communications on a large fire in Oregon.
The U.S. Forest Service requested assistance from the Kentucky Division of Forestry yesterday. The Kentucky firefighters are expected to be on the fire lines in Idaho for up to 14 days, but may return sooner if wildfire conditions improve. The firefighters will assemble today between 2 and 3 p.m. at the U.S. Forest Service fire cache in London.
The firefighters will be on personal leave from their state jobs. Their salary, both while fighting the fires and during additional travel days, as well as their travel expenses will be paid for by the U.S. Forest Service.
KDF Director and Kentucky State Forester Leah MacSwords said providing the assistance will not hurt fire preparedness in Kentucky.
“Despite severe drought conditions in our state, the occurrence of wildfires has been low, which allows us to provide these resources,” she said.