Wildfire season in effect until April 30 in Kentucky

Published 1:09 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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Gov. Andy Beshear is reminding Kentuckians that the Spring Wildfire Hazard Season, which began Feb. 15, is in effect for every Kentucky county until April 30.

During this season, state law prohibits burning between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland. 

“March and April are typically high wildfire occurrence months, and we encourage everyone to please exercise caution and consider all factors to help maximize the safety of our neighbors, their homes, and our forestlands,” Beshear said. 

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The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) responds to more than 1,000 wildfires annually across the state. Partners such as the Daniel Boone National Forest and local fire departments also respond to several wildfires.

“We have responded to several wildfires since the first of February,” KDF Director and State Forester Brandon Howard noted. “We ask that if debris burning occurs, take proper precautions to prevent fires from escaping and becoming wildfires, and report any suspected arson activity to local law enforcement or the target arson hotline.”

Ninety-nine percent of all wildland fires in Kentucky are caused by humans. Many are accidental like unmonitored debris burning, campfires and sparks from farm equipment. However, nearly 60 percent are caused by arson.

Forestry officials say public efforts can go a long way in reducing the occurrence of wildfires. Taking extra precautions with debris fires and campfires, as well as being alert to forest arson, can eliminate the majority of wildfires that occur in Kentucky.

In addition to being aware of wildfire hazard seasons, Kentuckians are urged to follow all air pollution regulations, state waste management regulations, restrictions imposed by local ordinances, and county burn bans. The Division for Air Quality has many outdoor burning restrictions. More information can be found at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air/Pages/Open-Burning.aspx.

You can report suspicious acts of arson to local law enforcement or the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.

For more information on ways that you can prevent wildfires and loss of property, along with a map of local KDF field offices, visit https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/Pages/default.aspx.