Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | February 17, 2009

Environmental attorney Sanders says Kentucky is in the spring forest fire hazard season.

Kentucky law designates Feb. 15 through April 30 as spring forest fire hazard season. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

The law is intended to prevent forest fires by allowing outdoor burning only during the time when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread. While it is not illegal to burn after 6 p.m., forestry officials say that now is not a good time to do any burning due to the fallen trees and limbs from recent storms.

 

Although most people who burn debris do not intend for their fire to get out of control, it frequently happens. Last year, 4,871 acres burned in Kentucky as a result of debris fires that escaped. Most of the wildfires in Kentucky are caused by human negligence or by malicious arson; therefore, most wildfires are preventable.

 

To reduce the risk of wildfire, the division recommends the following guidelines for burning debris:

1.       Clear a safe zone that is wide enough to prevent the escape of fire.

2.       Keep a supply of water and a rake or shovel readily accessible.

3.       Do not leave a fire unattended.

4.       Burn only when the wind is calm and the humidity level is high.

5.       Extinguish fire completely if conditions become windy.

6.       Keep burn piles small to allow quick control of the fire if necessary.

7.       Locate burn piles an adequate distance from structures and utilities.

8.       Obey all outdoor burning laws including forest fire laws, air pollution regulations and local ordinances.

9.       Report any suspicious acts of arson to the nearest Kentucky State Police post or the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.

10.   If arson is suspected, report details such as description of suspect, car, or license number.

 

For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s Web site at http://www.forestry.ky.gov/.

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