Fire officials offer advice for forest fire season

Fire officials offer advice for forest fire season
Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 1:55 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season officially begins in October, signifying the period in which the state is at a higher risk of forest fires.

The season is officially from October 1st through December 15th. The state places a burn restriction for those planning on using controlled burns on their property, warning folks not to burn between the hours of 6 AM and 6 PM every day.

“After 6 pm it’s okay. Go ahead and have your firepit and whatever else you want to have. But during those hours of 6 am and 6pm - no burn,” said Lexington Fire Department Section Chief Derek Roberts.

For the next 8 weeks, weather conditions are favorable for potential fires - specifically in the hardwood timber region of Kentucky. Fall-like conditions such as mild temps, leaf drops, and low humidity can make our area especially conducive to forest fires.

However, thanks to conditions shifting overnight, folks are allowed to burn after 6 PM.

“The dewpoint is a little lower, the temperature is a little lower at night, so you don’t have those different conditions that can contribute to a wildfire or the spreading of a wildfire,” said Roberts.

October is also National Fire Prevention Month, drawing attention to the importance of safety practices when around flammable materials. Section Chief Roberts also recommended a few tips on how to protect yourself if you must burn during this period.

“What you want to do is give yourself around 10 feet of area around where you are burning, during those hours of 6 PM to 6 AM and give yourself a little more area where it’s not going to catch something else on fire right there,” said Roberts.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry is mandated by law to provide organized fire protection, and they are encouraging folks to report fires they see to the local field branch office that serves your county.