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Kentucky firefighters helping with wildfires in other states

In California, Washington and North Carolina

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2015) — Kentucky wildland firefighters have once again answered the call for help, sending firefighters to Washington, California and North Carolina.

forestryThe Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) dispatched 14 firefighters that are part of a 20-person hand crew Sunday to the Bald Knob Fire in North Carolina. They joined a KDF public information officer who went out last week as a single resource person.

Five KDF firefighters left on Aug. 1 for the South Complex fire in northern California, joining a multi-agency crew. Two other firefighters went out west as single resource agents; one is on the Wolverine Fire in Washington and the other is on the River Complex fires in California. Unlike a whole crew of 21 people, a single resource person is someone who specializes in a given type of work or in operating a certain piece of equipment. They are often heavy equipment operators, helicopter crew members and others with needed specialties.

As Kentucky’s fall fire hazard season begins Oct. 1, this may be the last opportunity for Kentucky to send aid to other states. “We urge citizens to reduce fire risk to their property by mowing their yards, raking leaves away from the home, trimming low-hanging tree limbs and removing flammable material from under decks and away from structures,” KDF Director Leah MacSwords said. “Creating a defensible space around homes will decrease the likelihood that fire will spread to the home and will create a safer environment for firefighters.”