Safety precautions still advised for outdoor burning
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2015) — The fall forest fire hazard season has officially ended, ending the restriction of waiting until 6 p.m. to conduct outdoor burning activities. However, officials with the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) continue to urge caution when conducting any kind of outdoor burning.
“This year has been one of the lowest for reported wildfires,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “We were fortunate to receive timely precipitation last spring and also this fall which kept the fire dangers low.”
Since January KDF firefighters responded to 735 fires that burned 18,583 acres. The figures do not include wildfires controlled by local fire departments.
“Local volunteer fire departments are an important partner of the division,” MacSwords said. “While arson continues to be the leading cause of wildfires in Kentucky, many regions of the state showed an increase in fires caused by people burning carelessly. The danger of setting fire to debris piles, fence rows and other areas at any time is often underestimated and the potential for these fires to spread to the woods during dry windy times is something everyone should keep in mind.”
For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe debris burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s web site at http://forestry.ky.gov/. Residents should also check with the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, the Kentucky Division of Waste Management and local agencies to ensure that you are obeying all outdoor burning laws and for additional information about disposal alternatives and air pollution regulations.