Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Kentucky Division of Forestry to assist Texas Forest Service with wildland fire emergency
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2008) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) is sending personnel and equipment to Texas to assist with their current wildland fire emergency. A total of 10 division employees, comprising two tractor/plow strike teams, will report to Granbury, Texas tomorrow.
The Texas Forest Service requested the additional assistance from KDF Saturday through the Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact. There are currently 12 large fires burning in Texas with 31,982 acres burned. Due to last week’s heavy fire activity, resources were ordered from Kentucky as well as from around the country to assist with the fire emergency.
Thirteen southern states make up the compact, which allows them to share skilled wildland firefighters and equipment. Member states help each other to the extent they can, depending on their own fire status. Division staff will be on compact detail for 14 days plus travel days, and Texas will reimburse KDF all personnel and equipment costs.
KDF Director and Kentucky State Forester Leah MacSwords said, “We are fortunate that wildland fire conditions in Kentucky are currently stable, which allows us to provide these resources.”
The division would like to remind citizens that Kentucky’s Spring Forest Fire Season begins Feb. 15 and runs through April 30. During this time, it is illegal for any person to burn within 150 feet of woodlands between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Division for Air Quality also has many outdoor burning restrictions and should be contacted at 1-888-BURN-LAW before conducting any outdoor burning to ensure compliance with its regulations.