Caution urged ahead of wildfire hazard season beginning Oct. 1

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Gov. Andy Beshear is urging Kentuckians to be cautious as wildfire hazard season begins on Oct. 1.

That day also brings outdoor burning restrictions to the state. The Commonwealth’s outdoor burning law (KRS149.400) prohibits burning between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. if the fire is within 150 feet of any woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials. These restrictions are in effect every fall (Oct. 1 to Dec. 15) and spring (Feb. 15 –to April 30) to help prevent wildfires.

“With regions of the Commonwealth recovering from flooding damage, it is especially important that all Kentuckians be vigilant with fire safety when outdoors,” Beshear said in a press release. “Think of others so that we can all be safe.”

The Commonwealth has more than 12 million acres of forested area, which provides critical habitats for many game and nongame wildlife species, including deer, turkey, elk and bears.

To help prevent wildfires, the Kentucky Division of Forestry recommends the following precautions:

  • Be aware of all outdoor burning restrictions, including forest fire hazard seasons, air pollution regulations, restrictions imposed by local ordinances and county burn bans
  • The Kentucky Division for Air Quality has information on addressing the disposal of storm and flood debris at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air/Documents/StormDebris082720.pdf
  • Avoid burning debris during fire hazard seasons and during times of dry, windy conditions. Outdoor burning is illegal between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland during wildfire hazard seasons
  • Incorporate “Firewise” practices around homes and communities in forested areas. Firewise practices include creating a defensible space around homes by removing leaves, debris, and firewood to ensure access for safety personnel and equipment in rural or isolated areas
  • Report suspicious acts of arson to the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON

If you want information about local burn bans, you can contact your local fire department or county judge-executive’s office.

Categories: News, State News