Kentucky Firefighters To Help With Western Wildfire

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Shaniko Butte Wildfire in Oregon - July 2014
Two Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) firefighters will head out Saturday, July 19, 2014, to the Shaniko Butte fire in Oregon.

The U.S. Forest Service requested two heavy equipment bosses through the Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center, which coordinates the mobilization of federal and state resources to incident needs throughout the United States.

The lightning-caused wildfire ignited July 13 on Shaniko Butte, 12 miles north of the town of Warm Springs in Oregon.

The fire spread quickly in light, dry, grassy fuels, pushed by winds from varying directions.

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The fire covers 20,000 acres.

Dwayne Anderson and Jerry Brown will be responsible for three pieces of heavy mechanical equipment such as dozers, excavators, etc.

They will oversee the personnel assigned to the equipment and put them where needed on the fire.

“We are fortunate that wildfire conditions in Kentucky have improved, which allows us to provide these resources,” said Leah MacSwords, director for KDF.

Wildfires continue to burn out of control in parched areas across the western United States and the long-term weather forecast, showing no relief in sight, prompted the request for Kentucky’s help.

Anderson has worked more than 30 western fires and Brown has been on more than 40. ”We just want to help protect the citizens of Oregon and do the best job we can,” Anderson said.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.