Kentucky Division of Forestry
Weekend Wildfires Have Forestry Officials Concerned

Press Release Date:  Monday, April 27, 2009  
Contact Information:  Lynn Brammer

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Energy and Environment Cabinet

Steven L. Beshear, Governor                                                                                                                                   Len Peters, Secretary

Lynn Brammer

Weekend Wildfires Have Forestry Officials Concerned
Wildfires Burn Over 5,200 Acres Statewide

FRANKFORT, Ky. – (April 27, 2009) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry and many local fire department firefighters battled more than 100 fires over the weekend.  Increased fire activity is expected to continue today as low humidity, low fuel moisture and windy conditions persist.  The extreme fire conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning today.   

“The last few days have been the busiest time for fighting forest fires since spring fire hazard season began this year,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry.  “While others were out enjoying the beautiful weather, division firefighters and countless local fire department firefighters were battling these fires and protecting Kentucky’s forests, homes and communities.” 

The warmer weather was certainly a contributing factor in the number of fires that occurred. When temperatures rise and the humidity is low, conditions are ripe for forest fires.  The weekend’s warm temperatures also prompted people to spend time in the outdoors, which usually means increased fire activity.

Because most of the fires were caused by careless debris burning and arson, the division is urging citizens to choose an alternate disposal method to burning and to report any information about arson to the division or a local law enforcement agency.  The division is also reminding citizens that during fire season, which ends April 30, it is illegal to burn any flammable material in or within 150 feet of any woodlands or brushlands except between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.  Other outdoor burning laws to consider include open burning regulations and legal disposal methods.  Contact the Division for Air Quality at 1-888-BURN-LAW and the Division of Waste Management at 1-888-NO-DUMPS for more information.  For information about fire hazard seasons and safe burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s Web site at