Prepare for fall wildfire season

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Forest fire hazard season continues through Dec. 15

By The Staff

The Kentucky Division of Forestry is preparing for an active wildfire season this year as low humidity, low fuel moisture and increased fuel loads ­could cause high to very high burning conditions.   

“The division has been fighting wildfires consistently since drought conditions began in September,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry.  “Our firefighters face many risks and we’re urging everyone to take extra precautions this year. I also urge the public to be extra vigilant in protecting their homes from wildfires. The life or home they save may be theirs or their neighbors.”

The fall forest fire hazard season runs through Dec. 15. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The law is intended to prevent forest fires by allowing outdoor burning only after 6 p.m. when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread. Many counties have local burning bans in place making it illegal to burn outdoors at anytime while the ban is in place. 

To help prevent wildfires, KDF recommends the following precautions:

· Be aware of all outdoor burning restrictions, including forest fire hazard seasons, air pollution regulations, restrictions imposed by local ordinances and county burn bans. 

· Avoid burning debris during fire hazard seasons and during times of dry, windy conditions. Outdoor burning is illegal between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland during forest fire hazard seasons.

· Extinguish all campfires and debris piles completely. Never leave a fire unattended and always extinguish fires if conditions become too windy. The smallest spark can lead to a dangerous wildfire.

· Report suspicious acts of arson to the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON. 

For more information, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit http://forestry.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.