Red Flag Warning Day across the Gorge

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 18:41:41-04

WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — We are still in fire hazard season, but the warning means you should be on a higher alert before you set something to burn.

"Most fires are preventable," said Major Lisa Johnson with the Clay City Fire Department.

Those are words of frustration from Johnson, who has seen hundreds of acres burn across her beloved county, caused by tossed cigarette butts, a lit piece of cardboard, or a careless fire pit.

"It causes grass fires. It could spread with the wind picking up. Could spread real quick," said Clay City Fire Chief Eric Strange.

"Big issue because we have to use every resource possible from manpower to trucks to water. Every resource we have," said Johnson.

That's why two weeks ago, the volunteer department introduced a new vehicle to the fleet: a brush truck. You'll find any tool to battle a field fire, including a blower, a flapper, a wood fire rake, and a tank of water.

While there is a red flag warning, fires are not banned in the forest at this time. But here are a few things to keep in mind.

"Keep your campfire impact to a minimum," said Joey Santiago with the Gladie Visitor Center.

"My biggest thing to people you start a fire, you be able to maintain and contain. Don't ever burn open, burn in a barrel," said Johnson.

Johnson says if you do have to dig a pit, make it deep enough.

"And make sure when you leave, you be able to put your hands on it," said Johnson.

As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, don't forget to use a local fire department as a resource to learn what you can and cannot burn.

There is another resource available to learn more about how to safely camp and hike. For the first time since November 2019, the Gladie Visitor Center is open in Menifee County.

It was closed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The center is open Thursday-Monday and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.