Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Kentucky firefighters assist in Minnesota
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 20, 2006) - Responding to a request for assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, the Kentucky Division of Forestry is sending 16 full-time firefighters and nine seasonal firefighters to help battle wildfires in Minnesota.
The Kentucky contingent is meeting today in London at the U.S. Forest Service Ranger District office to join additional firefighters from multiple federal agencies and to pick up gear. They are expected to take commercial flights out Friday. They are to report to Ely, in northern Minnesota, and most likely will be assigned to the 1,500-acre Turtle Lake fire.
On another front, the division sent an employee to Brusett, Mont., on Wednesday to act as an information officer.
Federal agencies and many states are asking for help with wildfires. State employees volunteer for these opportunities to assist, during which they are on leave from the division and paid by the U.S. Forest Service. The assignments typically are 14 days plus travel time.
"We are fortunate that the wildland fire danger in Kentucky is currently low, which allows us to provide these resources to other states," said KDF Director and Kentucky State Forester Leah MacSwords. "If our conditions take a turn for the worse, I’m sure the U.S. Forest Service will return the favor."