Firefighters use ‘secret weapon’ to fight Ky. wildfire

WATCH | Firefighters use 'secret weapon' to fight Ky. wildfire
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 4:24 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 4:33 PM EST
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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - As hundreds of acres burn throughout eastern Kentucky, wildland firefighters are using a secret weapon to keep homes and businesses safe.

For a wildfire or any fire for that matter, you need three ingredients: fuel, oxygen and heat. It’s called “the fire triangle.”

Right now, wildland firefighters can really only control one of those ingredients: fuel.

What’s the fuel? The dead stuff on the forest floor, including all of the leaves that have recently collected on the ground from the trees and dead limbs.

Firefighters are using a drill to engineer something called a fire line. They are throughout Estill County. Once the wildfire gets to this line, it prevents it from getting to structures, on the other side.

“What we are trying to do, today, and last night was go in and create a fire break down to mineral soil, remove the fuel, so the fire won’t cross from one side to the other,” said wildland firefighter Dwayne Anderson. “That helps us with the structure protection, keeping the fire away from the structures.”

15,400 acres have burned across Kentucky since October, 1.