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Number of Controlled Fires in Kentucky Would Grow Under Proposed Legislation

Marcus Obal, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Prescribed or controlled burning could be expanded across Kentucky under a bill making its way through the state general assembly. Proponents say the process carries an ecological impact. Under current law prescribed fires can only be used by certain state and federal agencies. This measure broadens it to include private landowners.

Nature Conservancy of Kentucky Fire Manager Chris Minor says there is always the risk of unintentional burning.

“And what we intend to do to make sure that folks out there lighting fires under this provision have the training necessary to know that, 'hey today is not a good day to light a prescribed fire,'” said Minor. 

Minor says Kentucky’s rare and declining habitats such as prairies and woodlands are almost completely gone. He says prescribed fire is one of the effective tools toward restoring and maintaining these ecological systems.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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