Drought Causes Wildfire Concern As Kentucky Counties Issue Burn Bans
As drought conditions in the Commonwealth carry into their fourth week, many Judge/Executives are issuing burn bans for their counties in an effort to prevent wildfires.
71 counties have reported burn bans to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. Calloway, Ballard, Fulton and Carlisle counties in far west Kentucky announced bans Monday, and Hickman and Hopkins counties announced bans last week.
Ballard County Judge/Executive Todd Cooper said dry conditions made the burn ban a necessity.
“I don’t think we’ve had any rain in Ballard County since the last week of August. With extremely high temperatures, a lack of rain and some of the winds we’ve been having lately, we thought it best right now to go ahead and issue that ban,” Cooper said.
Kentucky Division of Forestry Madisonville Branch Environmental Control Manager Chuck Porter said the state is working closely with local officials to provide support in a potentially dangerous situation. “Everybody has a firefighting responsibility,” he said.
The state employs full-time staff members and firefighting equipment, like dozers, to assist counties dealing with burn ban conditions. According to the division, local burn bans prohibit the burning of forest areas, leaves, campfires, open pit cooking and the use of fireworks.