The National Weather Servicehas issued a “red flag forest fire” warning for eastern counties in the Commonwealth. Such warnings are issued when fire weather conditions include a relative humidity of less than 25%, fuel moisture of less than 8% and winds at 15 mph or greater. The warning is in effect from 1p.m. to 7 p.m. for 33 counties in eastern Kentucky.
The warmer weather and high winds was certainly a contributing factor in the number of fires that occurred. When temperatures rise and the humidity is low, conditions are ripe for forest fires. Remember, only you can prevent a forest fire.
Most wildfires in Kentucky are caused by careless debris burning and arson, therefore, the division is urging citizens to choose an alternate disposal method to burning and to report any information about arson to the division or a local law enforcement agency.
During fire season, which ends April 30, it is illegal to burn any flammable material in or within 150 feet of any woodlands or brush lands except between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Other outdoor burning laws to consider include open burning regulations and legal disposal methods.
Contact the Division for Air Quality at 1-888-BURN-LAW and the Division of Waste Management at 1-888-NO-DUMPS for more information. For information about fire hazard seasons 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/.
Eastern Kentucky Counties included in the Red Flag Warning: Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.