NewsCovering Kentucky


Drier Conditions Sparking More Wildfires

Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 18:29:26-04

(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Division of Forestry says most forest fires in Kentucky are related to human activity on private property.

“There have been some accidental burning going on that happened to get out and start a forest fire. There’s been some arsonist activity, people starting it deliberately,” said Steve Kull with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

Kull estimates that about 65 percent of the fires are due to arson, other fires stem more from reckless acts than malicious ones, such as people burning their trash.

“The chance of forest fires have increased. People are out and they’re out cleaning up and doing a few things,” he said.

With the relentless rain pounding the state, the beginning of the fire season was a slow one.

Last month, the division responded to 20 fires, but that number has shot up in March to more than 100. Kull said that the drier conditions are making the woodlands more susceptible.

“We started out obviously with a lot of moisture, so our fire season hasn’t been a typical one. However, the next month is normally our driest time, we’re expecting it to be about average,” said Kull.

During the Forest Fire Hazard Season, it is illegal to burn within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between 6 a.m and 6 p.m.