Forest Service urges caution with campfires

Daniel Boone National Forest

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – Due to dry weather conditions, fire management officials with the Daniel Boone National Forest are urging forest visitors to use caution with fire.

“We’ve gone nearly two weeks now without any significant rainfall,” said Evelyn Morgan, public information officer on assignment with the U.S. Forest Service.  “The warm temperatures with low humidity are creating high potential for wildfires to occur.  We’ve also had a lot of high wind lately, which is another factor that has helped create dry ground fuels on the forest floor.”

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Visitors are encouraged to consider the risk of campfires when camping in the forest, especially in the backcountry.

At this time, campfires are permitted on the Daniel Boone National Forest, but a burning ban could be implemented under drought conditions.

Instead of building a campfire, visitors should consider using campstoves or grills when cooking food outdoors.

“If you have a campfire, keep it small,” added Morgan. “Use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand, and never leave your campfire unattended. The fire should be dead-out before you walk away.  To help put a campfire out completely, you should use plenty of water and stir with a shovel to make sure all burning embers are cool to the touch.”

Anyone caught leaving or abandoning a campfire is subject to fines and court costs. In the event of an escaped campfire, the person responsible may be required to appear in court and held liable for suppression costs.