Kentucky Division of Forestry
State Forestry Employees Assist Emergency Personnel

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, February 10, 2009  
Contact Information:  Lynn Brammer 1-800-866-0555  



Commonwealth of Kentucky
Energy and Environment Cabinet

Steven L. Beshear, Governor                                                      Len Peters, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           CONTACT: Lynn Brammer                       1-800-866-0555

State Forestry Employees Assist Emergency Personnel
Spring Forest Fire Hazard Season begins Feb. 15

 FRANKFORT, KY (Feb. 10, 2009) –The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) has been working closely with emergency personnel across the state to clear roadways in areas hit hard by the ice storm.  Since Jan. 30, 121 KDF employees spent over 8,000 man hours working on chainsaw and dozer crews.  The crews cleared brush and downed trees and assisted in making roads passable in 15 counties.  As of yesterday, employees completed assignments in Ballard, Boyd, Boyle, Carroll, Clark, Estill, Garrard, Grayson, Hart, Lawrence, LaRue, McLean, Meade, Mercer and Powell counties.
     “Our employees have been very dedicated to the cleanup efforts,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry.  “Many of our employees had storm related problems at home, yet they stepped up to assist others in need.  They are an asset to emergency personnel during natural disasters such as the recent ice storm and they have been an important factor in helping provide for the safety of our communities.” 
 As division employees return to their own districts and routine assignments, they will begin to prepare for the upcoming forest fire hazard season.  KDF is the lead agency in fighting wildfires and enforcing forest fire seasons as per KRS 149.400.  Citizens are reminded that spring forest fire hazard season begins on Feb. 15 and ends April 30 and during this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. 
 In the aftermath of the storm, the potential for wildfires will likely increase due to fallen branches and tree limbs that have accumulated in the woods.  The division urges extreme caution and to follow outdoor burning laws while burning storm debris in the coming weeks.   For more information about KDF ice storm response, caring for storm damaged trees or information regarding fire hazard season, visit www.forestry.ky.gov or call 1-800-866-0555. 
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