(LEX 18) — Daniel Boone National Forest has issued an emergency order that restricts the use of fire on national forest lands.
The emergency order went into affect on Friday morning.
In developed campgrounds and picnic areas, campfires are only permitted in existing metal or concrete fire rings and pedestal grills that have been installed by the Forest Service.
In general forest areas, such as the Red River Gorge, campfires and open flames are prohibited.
This emergency order also prohibits the use of candles or any other open flame devices outside of developed recreation areas.
Forest Service officials said that portable lanterns and stoves that use pressurized gas or liquid fuel and have a shutoff valve are allowed out of developed recreation areas, but officials have urged caution.
"We're experiencing above normal temperatures with below normal precipitation, and the extended weather forecast doesn't appear to bring any change over the next couple of weeks," said Forest Management Officer E.J. Bunzendahl.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of eastern Kentucky have now reached severe drought conditions.
"Over the past several weeks, eastern Kentucky has received little rainfall, and no significant rainfall is predicted anytime soon. The forest ground fuels are extremely dry, approaching record lows for moisture," said Bunzendahl.
Anyone in violation of this emergency order will be fined and may be required to appear in federal court. In addition to any possible fines, any individual or group responsible for causing a wildfire may be held liable for the costs of fire suppression.
Below you can find a list of the recreation areas where campfires are allowed in existing metal fire rings or in pedestal grills:
Cumberland Ranger District
- Twin Knobs Campground
- Clear Creek Campground and Picnic Area
- White Sulphur Horse Camp
- Clay Lick Boat-In Campground
- Billy Branch Picnic Area
- Boat Gunnel Group Campground
- Zilpo Campground
- Koomer Ridge Campground
- Sky Bridge Picnic Area
- Rock Bridge Picnic Area
- Grays Arch Picnic Area
- Fitchburg Picnic Area
Stearns Ranger District
- Alpine Picnic Area
- Natural Arch Picnic Area
- Hemlock Grove Picnic Area
- Bell Farm Horse Camp
- Great Meadow Campground
- Barren Fork Horse Camp
- Jellico Creek Dispersed Campsites
- Rock Creek Dispersed Campsites
London Ranger District
- Bald Rock Picnic Area
- Holly Bay Campground
- Grove Campground
- Craigs Creek Group Use Area
- White Oak Boat-in Campground
- Flatwoods Picnic Area
- Laurel Bridge Picnic Area
- S-Tree Campground and Picnic Shelter
- Turkey Foot Campground and Picnic Shelter
- Little Lick Campground