The Kentucky Division of Forestry has announced that, as of Feb. 15, Kentucky is in its spring forest fire hazard season, and there may be no burning prior to 6 p.m.
Kentucky’s Forest Fire Hazard Seasons are Feb. 15 through April 30 and Oct. 1 through Dec. 15.
During forest fire hazard seasons, regardless of whether the precautions required by Kentucky Revised Statute 149.375 have been taken, it is unlawful for any person to set fire to, or procure another to set fire to, any flammable material capable of spreading fire, located in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland, except between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. or when the ground is covered with snow.
Typically, winds are calmer and humidity is higher from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. While burning is allowed during these hours, no one should burn unless the air is calm and there is adequate moisture in the air to prevent the spread of fire.
“Despite recent precipitation, dead fuels like grass, leaves, and twigs are rapidly dried with sunlight and wind,” said William H. Steele, Jr., director of the Division of Forestry. “With only a few hours of sunlight and wind, these fuels can become primed for carrying a wildfire. It is very important that people do not develop a false confidence during wet conditions.”
One of the leading causes of forest fires in Kentucky is fire accidentally escaping when people burn trash or unwanted material. All fires should be attended until extinguished.
It is illegal to start a fire any time of the year on or near timberland without taking all reasonable precautions to prevent it from spreading.
Other burning laws may apply, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry recommends that individuals intending to hold a controlled outdoor burn check their local ordinances, as well as the Kentucky Divisions of Air Quality and Waste Management.
The Division of Air Quality has many outdoor burning restrictions and should be contacted at 1-888-BURN-LAW.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.