Breathitt County dealing with wildfires months after severe flooding

Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 19:18:22-05

JACKSON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Larry Allen is facing the front of the house as he sits on the porch enjoying a perfect November day. Occasionally, though, he’ll take a peek towards the back of the home where an eastern Kentucky wildfire continues to burn.

“Little hard breathing, lots of smoke,” Allen said of the conditions Wednesday night.

Allen is actually living at his son’s home because his was destroyed during the epic flooding this past summer in Breathitt County. Now, he’s not sure what the future will hold.


“When you’ve been here all your life, it’s hard to relocate. But, sometimes it’s best for families to do that. But when you get to a certain age, it’s pretty tough,” he said.

About ten miles away in downtown Jackson, County Judge-Executive Jeff Noble is working diligently to navigate his residents through this latest natural disaster.

“We’ve already lost over 2,000 acres, 2,155,” he said while looking over the information he’s been given.

An employee with the Kentucky Forestry Department told LEX 18 that the fire had been about 60 percent contained, which still covers roughly 1,300 acres. But, they were able to get it to change direction while keeping most of the current flames isolated in the middle of a forest. But, as we drove away from the area, flames were still burning at the edge of a cliff, just a few hundred yards from several homes; Mr. Allen’s son’s home included.


Judge Noble feels for those who are having to live through this, or at least have to worry about it, so soon after the flood.

“It’s tough. These people, the ones who have something to build on, are working on it, and then there’s fire coming right at them,” he said.

Evacuations in Breathitt County have yet to be ordered, and at this point, it looks as if they will dodge that bullet. Rain is expected in the forecast Friday, which will help the fire-fighting effort, but too much here at once has already proven to be a major problem.