Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
17 from Division of Forestry join Louisiana relief
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2005) - Seventeen employees of the Kentucky Division of Forestry (DOF) are due to leave Wednesday, Aug. 31, for Louisiana to assist in cleaning up the wreckage wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
The Kentuckians, all volunteers, will be assigned to the Camp Beauregard National Guard Armory at Pineville, La. Also on the mission is a four-person USDA Forest Service crew from the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The DOF volunteers will be on leave from the division and paid by the federal Forest Service while on assignment, which can last up to 14 days. The volunteers will focus their efforts on debris removal and other cleanup from Katrina, a Category 4 hurricane when it struck coastal Louisiana early Thursday.
"We are pleased the division can offer some assistance," said Leah MacSwords, Kentucky state forester and director of the division. "We have had to request assistance from other states during wildfire emergencies in the past, and we were more than willing to return the favor."
The call for assistance in Louisiana comes on the heels of another volunteer mission in which 20 DOF firefighters were dispatched to Idaho to battle a blaze in the Nez Perce National Forest.
The Division of Forestry is an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.