Firefighters from multiple states helping battle Kentucky forest fires
CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Fires are still burning in parts of eastern Kentucky.
Officials say they believe most of those have been intentionally set. Putting them out has been a burden on state and local firefighters. But help has arrived.
One crew traveled three days from Idaho to help weary firefighters in eastern Kentucky.
“Fire season slowed down back at home. So we are able to help down here,” said Hunter Droegmiller with the Idaho Department of Lands.
Wednesday’s first assignment was tackling fires along Kentucky 1350 that were set early in the morning.
“What’s happened here is that we have a hot set. Where some come and they ignited a wildfire. For reasons unknown,” said Stephen Gabbard with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.
Five to 15 acres burned in the Sexton’s Creek area. No homes were damaged, but it did leave a smoky, hot mess in the area.
“We believe it was set near the bottom. Near the roadway. With the fuel, it burned up the hill at a rapid pace,” said Gabbard.
The Idaho crew will likely stay another week.
“It’s different from back home. With the fuel type and fire behavior. We have light flashes and a lot of grass fuels. A lot of heavy timber canyons. Where this is hardwood litter. We don’t have a lot of hardwood litter back home,” said Droegmiller.
The goal for everyone is protection and keeping the flames away from homes.
“Me and a Clay County ranger were on a fire last night that was right beside someone’s home,” said Gabbard.
Some fires did come within 100 feet of a home, but no damage was done
Firefighters are helping Kentucky crews from seven states: Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, and Texas.
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