Kentucky Division of Forestry
Division of Forestry Recovers Wildfire Suppression Costs

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 21, 2009  
Contact Information:  Lynn Brammer

Steven L. Beshear, Governor  
Len Peters, Secretary


Lynn Brammer

Division of Forestry Recovers Wildfire Suppression Costs
Sixty-two Kentucky counties to be repaid from special fund

      FRANKFORT, KY – (Oct. 21, 2009) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) will be paying $33,413.19 to 62 counties this year from the collection of wildfire suppression fees as required in KRS 149.180.  
      KDF, the state agency responsible for suppressing wildfires and enforcing forest fire laws on state and private lands, collects costs associated with firefighting from individuals who are responsible for starting fires by accident or by their negligence.  The recovered costs are deposited into a special fund in the Energy and Environment Cabinet where they may be returned to the county in which the suppression costs were incurred.    In order to be eligible for the suppression cost refunds, a county must be in compliance with its annual timberland assessment—a law which requires the counties to pay two cents per acre of privately owned timberlands. 
     KDF has been collecting timberland assessments from counties since 1959 for the purpose of establishing county forest fire protection funds.  If a county is not eligible to receive the recovered costs, the money is used by KDF to improve fire protection services.
      The costs of wildfire protection and suppression place a financial burden on private citizens as well as public agencies.  Each year, wildfires destroy resources and endanger public safety.  Fortunately, most of Kentucky’s wildfires can be prevented.  For more information about wildfire prevention, visit  To report forest arson, call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.