Here is an update on forest fires that are currently in the 16 county Southeast Region for the Kentucky Division of Forestry.
Most of our region is in Zone 4 for hunting and that means that modern gun season for deer is in place through Nov. 21. That means that there are more people in the woods than normal. We urge hunters to use caution and pay attention to the burn bans in place – burn bans include campfires. . If hunters or the public see burning violations, they are asked to call 911 or the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 1-800-25-ALERT. Smokers are asked to use extra caution and drown their butts in a water bottle.
The Kentucky Division of Forestry Facebook page. Please share the site and know that it may be one that you consider monitoring. You are welcome to use the photos that we share on our page.
We are doing our best to accommodate all media visits to the fire line. Please be advised that these fires can be in very remote locations and if you are traveling here from outside the region, you need to plan your time accordingly – allow for lots of extra time and calling us earlier in the day, or day before is best. We want to be able to help you get the information you need. Also, a note about footwear. As a minimum, please have an all leather hiking boot if you want to go to the fire line. We have had media show up with rubber rain boots, heels and sneakers. Proper footwear is for your safety and we cannot take you to the fire line without it.
– 70 Counties in Kentucky currently have complete burn bans. An updated map of all counties with bans is attached. No new bans were added yesterday.
– If you live in a county with a burn ban, ALL open outdoor burning is illegal. If you see anybody burning illegally, call 911.
– If you do not live in a county with a burn ban, our fall forest fire hazard statutes still apply. Burning between 6 am and 6 pm within 150 feet of a woodland is illegal.
– Arrests have been made in McCreary County, Harlan County and Letcher County on 11/8 and 11/9 for violations of the burn bans and for arson. Links to information on all of these are on our KDF Facebook.
– There are 23 uncontrolled fires this morning in our Southeast Region.
– There are approximately 23,379 acres of uncontrolled fires in the southeast region.
– In the Southeast region, 5 fires were contained on Nov. 13. There were 8 new fires in the region on Nov. 13.
– The largest fire is the Nolansburg Fire in Harlan County, 7,400 acres.
– On Sunday afternoon, humidity levels bottomed out at 16% relative humidity. This is a critically dry humidity level. Fuels are extremely dry.
– A slight uptick in humidity levels is expected this afternoon in the 25-30%, which is still critically dry. These levels are forecasted to trend slightly higher Tuesday and Wednesday and then drop again on Thursday and Friday.
– Winds will be 5 miles per hour from the west. Because of low winds, smoke will remain blanketed in areas.
– Southeast Kentucky remains in a severe drought, while much of the rest of the state is in a moderate drought.
– Computer models indicate a potential for a cold front to move in later this week, which may bring a potential for moisture.
– There are a total of 4 Blackhawk helicopters dropping water on fires today with one additional Lakota helicopter that are being used to spot. These resources are from the National Guard.