Kentucky Division of Forestry
Red Flag Warning Issued for Extreme Wildfire Conditions

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 06, 2010  
Contact Information:  Lynn Brammer 1-800-866-0555  

Lynn Brammer

Red Flag Warning Issued for Extreme Wildfire Conditions
Wildfires Burn Over 8,500 Acres Since Friday

 FRANKFORT, Ky. – (April 6, 2010) – Since April 1 the Kentucky Division of Forestry and many local fire department firefighters have suppressed 190 wildfires that have burned 8,988 acres.  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.  Red Flag Warnings are issued when fire weather conditions include a relative humidity of less than 25%, fuel moisture of less than 8% and winds at 15 mph or greater.  The warning is in effect for today, April 6, 2010 from 1p.m. to 7 p.m. for 33 counties in eastern Kentucky.   
 “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 are out enjoying the beautiful weather, division firefighters and countless local fire department firefighters are engaged in wildfire suppression and protecting Kentucky’s forests, homes and communities.”
 The warmer weather and high winds 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.  Warm temperatures also prompt people to spend time in the outdoors, which usually means increased fire activity.
 Most wildfires in Kentucky are caused by careless debris burning and arson, therefore, 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
Counties included in the Red Flag Warning:  Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.