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  1. #1
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    Post Kentucky 2005 Season could be catastrophic

    Kentucky's forest-fire season could be 'catastrophic'

    DROUGHT, FOREST DEBRIS BUILD-UP SET STAGE FOR DANGEROUS YEAR

    By Roger Alford

    ASSOCIATED PRESS


    PIKEVILLE - State officials are warning homeowners to prepare for what could turn out to be a year of dangerous forest fires.

    "The last four fire seasons have been unusually light, and that has created a very heavy accumulation of fuel in our forests," said Leah MacSwords, head of the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

    If drought conditions that have plagued the state over the summer continue into the fall, MacSwords said the results could be disastrous.

    "Citizens who live in and around our state's woodlands should take extra precautions to ensure their property is safe from wildfires," she said.

    Under state law, landowners in Kentucky are not allowed to burn debris within 150 feet of forest or brush land from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15. That law is intended to prevent accidental wildfires.

    Doug McLaren, a forester with the University of Kentucky, said more than 50 percent of fires in Kentucky are intentionally set by arsonists.

    "Some people just feel this is a good way to get rid of snakes, believe it or not," McLaren said. "Some of it is retaliation for one reason or another. Some people just feel that the woods need to be burned, which is not true at all."

    Gwen Holt, spokeswoman for the Division of Forestry, said in some cases marijuana growers set the fires to clear ground for their crops.

    "There just isn't any standard answer to why they do it," Holt said. "Sometimes there is no reason."

    Holt said residents who live in wooded areas should create a buffer zone around their homes, making sure there are no accumulations of leaves or pine needles either on their lawns or beneath decks.

    "Having a hose that will reach all the way around the house is another tool they should have handy," she said.

    The last time Kentucky dealt with widespread forest fires was 2001.

    Rainfall in subsequent years kept woodlands damp.

    That's not the case this year, with Eastern Kentucky under extreme drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service in Jackson.

    "If the drought conditions continue, we're really likely to have a near catastrophic fire season," Holt said. "We're concerned about safety."

    Forest fires have an obvious impact on plants and animals, destroying natural foods and shelter. Holt said smoke from the fires also negatively affects human health.

    In the most severe fire seasons, hospitals have seen huge increases in emergency room visits by people with respiratory illnesses. In 2001, smoke became so thick that schools canceled classes, and motorists were advised to drive with their headlights on during daylight hours.

    McLaren said large amounts of dried leaves and dead tree branches have built up on the forest floor over the past four years.

    "All the elements are lined up right now for a severe fall forest fire season," he said.



    Harlan, Whitley forest fires burn thousands of acres.





    November 14, 2005

    HARLAN (WATE) -- A massive forest fire in Harlan County continued to rage Monday.

    So far, the fire has covered 2,000 acres.

    The forestry division says firefighters are trying to keep the fire contained.

    More than 30 houses are under watch in the area right now.

    Another forest fire has been raging in Whitley County over the past few days and it is still going strong.

    The fire had burned almost 300 acres by Monday and fire crews were trying to keep houses in the area out of danger.
    Last edited by coldfront; 11-25-2005 at 08:42 PM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

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  2. #2
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    We've been pretty moist so far this season but that can change really fast.
    We haven't had to do much about daylight burning(not allowed between 6 am and 6 pm during Oct.1 to Dec 15 for those not in Kentucky)except a couple times we'd have a member call Central Dispatch and ask over the county wide channel if we were in burn hours or not.
    They'd do this with a doubting citizen standing next to them to make sure that the Word got put out.

  3. #3
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    Post Cold Kentucky Rain!

    Rain extinguishes forest fires in parts of Kentucky

    PIKEVILLE, Ky. Crews working to extinguish forest fires in eastern Kentucky will likely get to spend Thanksgiving at home. That's because a pre-holiday rain dampened much of the state today.

    Most of the fires are believed to have been set by arsonists.

    Eleven fires were burning yesterday.

    A spokeswoman at the Kentucky Division of Forestry says rains have kept forest fires at bay for most of the fall fire season. A heavy downpour on November 12th extinguished more than 100 fires across the state.

    Since July, 14-hundred fires have burned 38-thousand acres.
    Last edited by coldfront; 11-25-2005 at 06:56 PM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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    Post kentucky update

    Firefighters Battle Brush Fires in Southern Kentucky


    Firefighters in southern Kentucky are spending the holiday weekend battling brush fires.

    350 acres are reported to be burning in Rockcastle County. Firefighters have been fighting the flames since Thursday. 150 acres are burning on private land, 200 acres are burning in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

    Investigators believe the fires were intentionally set. if you see someone setting a fire you're asked to report it to the state arson hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  5. #5
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    November 26, 2005

    Fire requires work of 3 departments

    Glasgow Daily Times

    Three area fire departments were dispatched Friday afternoon when approximately five acres of woods near the Barren-Hart county line caught on fire.

    Firefighters with the Horse Cave, Cave City and Park City volunteer fire departments and several law enforcement agencies, including Cave City and Kentucky State Police, along with the Division of Forestry, responded to the scene.

    The fire broke out sometime just before 1 p.m. on property belonging to David Hatcher at 1100 Toohey Ridge Road in Hart County.

    Dry, windy conditions have led to a number of field fires throughout Barren and surrounding counties in recent weeks, according to authorities.

    Using rakes and trowels, firefighters formed shallow trenches to contain the flames and prevent the fire from spreading to the outlaying wooded area.

    “It was basically a hand tool fire,” Capt. Joe Middleton with the Cave City Volunteer Fire Department said.

    The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  6. #6
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    Firefighters struggle with brush blazes

    11/09/05

    Volunteer firefighters around Muhlenberg County are running ragged to put out brush fires, as the Kentucky State Police look into the possibility of arson as the cause of a string of blazes that continued Tuesday.
    Fire departments around the county have made more than 40 runs since Thursday, fighting brush fires day and night. Hay bales have been found burning as well as two outbuildings and two barns that burned to the ground.
    Two brush fires, one in Bremen and one in Beechmont, were put out after several hours of work Tuesday.

    "It's still hitting us," said Central City Fire Chief Ricky King. "We've run nonstop since Thursday. We're tired."
    Some of the fires, fueled by gusty wind and dry conditions, may have been set on purpose, he said.
    "Probably, we have a fire-setter out there," King said. "All of the fires are under investigation."
    Others were caused by burning trash that got out of hand, and some were probably caused accidentally, King said.
    "As dry as it is, you could throw a cigarette out a window and it'll light it," he said. "We're just hoping for rain."
    All of the fire departments are looking into the causes of the fires, and the Kentucky State Police, state fire marshal's office and Division of Forestry are also working the case.
    About 17 of the brush fires -- including two that charred more than 100 acres -- burned in Graham.
    Graham Fire Chief Mark Nixon said his volunteer crew is stretched thin after five days of continual brush fires.
    "It's taken a toll on everybody," he said.
    Brush fires can be particularly dangerous to battle. Their direction can change in an instant if the wind switches.
    "You could have someone in there trying to fight it," Nixon said, and "it could trap them in there."
    So far no one has been injured, and no homes have been damaged as a result of the blazes.
    Judge-Executive Rodney Kirtley issued a countywide burn ban Friday. No fires are allowed until there is enough rain to reduce the risk of spreading.
    A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons involved in setting the fires. Anyone with information can contact the Kentucky State Police at (270) 676-3313, Muhlenberg County central dispatch at (270) 338-2000 or the local fire department.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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    Post 11-28-2005

    High Winds Cause Trouble For Firefighters and Drivers

    Forest Fires Burn In Eastern Kentucky
    High Winds Cause Trouble For Firefighters and Drivers

    High winds and heavy rain caused some problems across central Kentucky.

    It was part of a strong storm system moving across the southeast. Winds were around 30 miles and hour most of the day with gusts up to 40 miles an hour.

    In Lexington, the high winds made it tricky for drivers. Signals were out and powerlines were blown down.

    It wasn't just drivers battling the high winds. The weather also made it difficult for firefighters.

    The high wind fueled a brush fire in Estill County. A fire that started on Monday afternoon near Irvine burned several acres on Covey lane.

    Firefighters say it started near a building. and quickly spread into some trees. It's already burned several acres. Fire crews are still working to contain the flames and keep the fire away from several other buildings nearby.

    Smoke from the fire has spread across much of Estill County.

    High winds are causing fires to spread quickly across the mountains and numerous homes are in danger right now.

    Officials at the Kentucky River Forestry Division say there are so many forest fires across the region that they can't keep up with the amount of acres burning and residents are guarding their own homes with water hoses waiting for help.

    Kenny Gay and his wife Connie are surrounded by fire and are desperately finding ways to protect their home.

    A small water hose is all they have to keep a raging fire from burning faster toward their home.

    That's when fire fighters arrived, but the fire got so intense they had to abandon the fight.

    High winds and kudzu vines are like gasoline to forest fires and fire fighters say flames have reached 50 feet in the air and spread across countless acres in only a few hours.

    Fire officials are asking people not to burn things outside right now because of the high winds.

    They've had reports of forest fires in every county in the Kentucky River District Monday.


    Estill County Brush Fire
    Nov 28, 2005, 04:51 PM EST


    Firefighters are working to contain a brush fire that's already consumed several acres in Estill County.

    The fire started around 3:00 p.m. on Covey Lane. Firefighters say it started near a building and quickly spread into some trees.

    Officials say the fire did threaten several homes, but firefighters were able to save those.

    Smoke from the fire has spread across much of Estill County.


    To report an arson, you can call 1-800-27-ARSON.
    Last edited by coldfront; 11-28-2005 at 10:35 PM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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