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Burn bans being lifted after significant rainfall

Posted at 2:03 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 18:36:39-04

(LEX 18) — For 39 days, Fayette County and dozens of others across Kentucky have been without measurable rain, which caused weeks of burn bans.

But, thanks to several inches of rain over the weekend and into Monday, some of those bans were lifted.

As of 7 a.m. on Monday, the 18-day burn ban lifted in Fayette County.

"It is a factor of the cool and the rain," said Lexington Police Department Battalion Chief Jordan Saas. "We need a lot of moisture and thankfully we've been getting it."

Lexington has seen nearly three inches of rain since Sunday afternoon.

In other parts of the state, some have seen up to four inches of rain as of Monday afternoon.

"As long as we have sustained moisture and rain like we have been the past 24 hours, that's what we need," said Saas. "Hopefully it continues that way for a couple days, if possible."

Other counties like Madison and cities like Midway also lifted their burn bans.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry said that they are relying on county judge executives to work with local fire departments to make decisions about their bans.

"With the ground being so dry, it's all going to depend on how well the ground has absorbed the moisture that has come down," said Saas. "Against, so for us, it's a continuous evaluation cycle."

Here in Lexington, the difference since the wettest September, in 2018, on record is stark.

"September of 2018 it was the wettest on record. There was 10.4 inches of rain," said Saas. "This September, we had zero! That was part of the 39-day stretch where it was the driest with no tracable, no measurable amounts of rain."

The fire department has codes for fires related to the dry conditions.

"We have a fire code that we use for brush, grass, leaves, mulch fires," said Saas. "Last year in September of 2018, we had 13 of those types of calls. This September we had 134."

The break in the heat and drought now calls for continued precipitation and a round of s'mores!