State officials urge Kentuckians to be fire-wise as wildfire season begins

State officials urge Kentuckians to be fire-wise as wildfire season begins
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 12:07 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - October 1 started wildfire season in Kentucky.

As the forecast looks dry, it’s important to prepare in the instance of a nearby fire. Kentucky wildfire season lasts until December 15. As the season begins, new restrictions will be in place for burning to keep everyone safe.

Until December 15, people can’t burn between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. if they are within 150 ft. of any woodlands, brush, dry grass, or other flammable materials.

Of course, if there is a more immediate concern for a fire, a burn barn will take place. These are issued at the local level and can be enforced with the help of local law enforcement. Burn bans restrict residents from things burning leaves or brush, open-pit or charcoal grilling, making campfires and bonfires and burning trash.

State officials say nearly two-thirds of all fires in Kentucky are the result of human action.

Bridget Abernathy is the assistant director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry and she has a message for those looking to burn.

“We are in a drought period through Kentucky right now. So, it is extremely important that people follow our burn regulations and execute extra care when they are carrying out any burning. Whether or not that is a small debris pile that is much farther away from the woods or any other kind of burning that they use extreme care,” Abernathy said.

Along with paying attention to changing weather conditions. It’s important to stay fire-wise during the season and remove any leaves, debris, and firewood from your yard and against your home. This will help to protect your home before the event of a fire and if fires are nearby.

If you do need to burn, it’s important to refresh yourself on the fire restrictions that will be in place during the wildfire season and check on future weather conditions. Also, make sure all fires are completely extinguished before you leave them.