High Winds Cause Safety Concerns for Crews Fighting Wildfires

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) and Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) officials urge citizens in, or near, the areas impacted by wildfires to be prepared to take immediate action. Being ready for a wildfire could save your property or save your life!

The National Weather Service, Jackson KY Office, has issued a Fire Weather Watch due to the ongoing drought conditions, http://www.weather.gov/jkl/ .

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Currently 26 fires are burning approximately 27.269 acres throughout the southeastern part of the state. Woodlands are extremely dry and there is little or no rain in the immediate forecast. However, a cold front is approaching this weekend and winds are expected to gust more 30 mph, which could lead to additional fire activity.

Officials encourage every citizen to be prepared to take immediate action should these wildfires spread and threaten communities and populated areas, and offer these tips:

KNOW THE RISK, STAY INFORMED AND BE PREPARED TO ACT!

Evacuations save lives and allow responding personnel to focus on the emergency at hand.

• Please evacuate promptly when requested!
Evacuation Orders
• Evacuation orders are used to alert you to the significance of the danger. All evacuation instructions provided by officials should be followed immediately for your safety.

Long Before a Fire Threatens

• Prepare an Evacuation Checklist and Organize:
o Critical medications
o Identification items
o Essential valuables
o Pet and livestock transport, limited amount of pet food
o Change of clothing, toiletries
o Cell phone
o Critical papers and effects in a fireproof safe
o An Evacuation Route Map with at least two routes *
• Drive your planned route of escape before an actual evacuation *

*During an evacuation, law enforcement/ emergency personnel may determine your route.

If Evacuation is a Possibility

• Create an evacuation checklist and place the items in your vehicle
• Park your vehicle facing outward and carry your car keys with you
• Locate your pets and keep them nearby
• Prepare farm animals for transport
• Place connected garden hoses and buckets full of water around the house
• Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures
• Cover up. Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton is preferable
• Leave lights on in the house – doors and windows unlocked
• Leave windows closed; turn off air conditioning and/or furnace

Should evacuations become necessary, the American Red Cross (ARC) has 11 shelters on standby. A map of open ARC shelters will be made available on the KYEM website home page, www.kyem.ky.gov .

Officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) urge the public to drive with their lights on and use caution, especially in smoky areas.

Smoke from the wildfires has combined with fog to create low to no visibility. Motorists can access travel and traffic conditions at http://goky.ky.gov or contribute their own reports at www.waze.com or via the Waze mobile application. You can also get traffic information for KyTC District 11 counties at www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict11 or by following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KYTCDistrict11 .

For additional wildfire safety information and resources, please go to www.kyem.ky.gov , where you can follow KYEM on Twitter and like us on Facebook.