KDF: Zero active fires in Ky. after more than two week battle

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Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 3:09 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:03 PM CST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Wildfire season is not over yet, but we are noticing some improvements across the commonwealth.

Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Kessley Baker said, as of November 20, there were zero active fires in Kentucky. However, she said the fires took more than two weeks to contain.

“From the start of the state of emergency on November 3rd. We have had 266 fires that actually burned over 33,000 acres,” Baker said.

A total of 33,836 acres burned. Several of the fires reached more than 1,000 acres and two surpassed 2,500 acres.

Baker said she is not sure the 28 Kentucky crews could have contained the flames without the help from more than 100 firefighters from six different states.

“I am very appreciative of their help because this has been one heck of a ride this season. so, yeah i don’t think that we could have done it without their help,” she said.

Although there are zero active fires, Baker added the job is not over for Kentucky crews.

“We often go back and rehab our fire lines to make sure things are still looking good. So, we have several acres to cover now as far as rehab work,” she said.

Although there is rain in the forecast, Baker and KDF officials want people to remember the fire season runs until December 15. Even after that, they are still warning people to remain aware.

“You know anytime you burn outdoors you need to check the weather first before you do anything. Even if it is after 6 p.m., if you have high winds, it may still not be safe,” Baker said.

A phrase Kentucky Division of Forestry officials said they want everyone to remember is to learn before you burn.

As of November 20, burn bans remain in effect for the counties below:

Adair, Allen, Barren, Breathitt, Boyd, Bullitt, Clay, Floyd, Grayson, Green, Henderson, Harlan (State of Emergency includes burn ban), Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, McLean, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nelson, Oldham, Perry, Pike, Rowan, Russell, Simpson, Trimble, Union, Warren, Whitley and Wolfe.