COVID-19 impacts the fight against forest fires

Here's a map of the Kentucky Division of Forestry offices
Here's a map of the Kentucky Division of Forestry offices(WKYT)
Published: Apr. 11, 2020 at 12:12 PM EDT
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It's Spring Forest Fire Hazard Season, and forest fires don't stop just because there's a pandemic.

"We're used to... we're used to dealing with adversity," Brandon Howard, Fire Management Chief at the Kentucky Division of Forestry, said.

Fighting forest fires is not easy business, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it comes with added challenges.

"Wildfires are never the same. It's always different than the one you were at yesterday so with this new COVID-19 situation that we are dealing with, and wildfires," Howard said. "We learn to adapt just like we do on any other fire and change our tactics."

That means social distancing by taking separate vehicles to fires and pre-positioning resources at fire-prone areas.

"We don't have vehicles laying around for everyone to ride in so we've had to lower the number of resources we can actually put on the fire because we are used to having multiple people in vehicles going to the fires," Howard said.

Howard says that while that does slow them down, it's nothing they can't handle.

"We're prepared for it, we're ready for it, and we're working our way through it."

One way you can help the Division of Forestry is following all burning guidelines. If you see any arson, or know of any, make sure to report it.