Officials warning: State under significant fire danger

KENTUCKY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is under significant fire danger, officials are warning people to avoid outside burning.

Already struggling after flooding now, people have to worry about fire.

The state saying many fires are from careless burning of debris, including all that’s leftover from last week’s rain.

Assistant Director of the Division of Forestry Steve Kull said officials understand people want to get outdoors, they just want people to do it safely.

“Abide by the rules, restrictions, still after 6 o’clock if you’re within 150 feet of the woods or if you’re having a campfire out there just make sure you have the tools necessary if it were to flare up or try to get away. Just be careful with it,” Kull said.

He said the Division of Forestry has handled 120 fires, just in the last week.

“Typically our wildfire issues are in the eastern part of the state where it’s more wooded and people are in that area. However, right now we’re finding that we’re having fires all across the state,” Kull said.

Hard to believe right next to still standing water, there could be a fire.

In Beattyville, the area has already been dealing with significant flooding, officials say now the concern is debris will cause problems during this dry weather.

According to Assistant Chief Tyler Phillips, recently the area has only seen one brush fire.

“The ground is wet but the grasses are dryer. We’re tremendously worried about people burning debris that they need to dispose of and allowing ashes and things to get out into grass field that could spread quickly and be difficult for us to access because of flooding, Phillips said.”

While people are clearing the debris from flooding damage in and around their home, Philips recommends certain precautions, “Try to burn that stuff in small piles rather than create a large pile. A large pile is probably more effective and easier to deal with but the small piles are more manageable, easier to control to keep from spreading. They don’t create nearly as much as hot ash and embers in the air.”

The majority of debris officials are seeing, are things you would find in the forest that have built up into large piles due to flooding.

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