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Kentucky forestry firefighters head west

Will assist with wildfires in Utah

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 23, 2013) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry announced Tuesday that 21 division firefighters are being sent to Utah to assist with wildfires in big timber, juniper and grass.

The firefighters will gather in London, Ky., tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24 for a briefing before heading to Utah.

The U.S. Forest Service notified the division today that assistance was needed. The division has a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service to provide assistance during forest fire emergencies.

“We are glad to be able to help.  I am sorry for the situation Utah finds itself in but happy that we are able to respond,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

The last time the division sent crews out of state was in 2011 when Georgia and Florida were experiencing catastrophic wildfires. The employees actually volunteer for this opportunity and will be on leave from the division.  The Forest Service will pay their salary during this time. Fourteen days of pay, plus travel time, is the maximum number of days the firefighters will be away from home.