Last year’s windstorms and this year’s ice storm have increased the risk of brush and forest fires in Kentucky.
Three people in separate parts of the state died this month in debris fires that spread out of control. Forestry Division spokesperson Lynn Brammer says the increase in fallen timber – and people burning it – makes wildfires more likely.
“We have a lot of fuel on the ground – extra limbs, extra branches, uprooted trees,” she says. “This timber is drying out and it doesn’t take much time, even after a rain event, for this vegetation to dry out and become flammable.”
Brammer says the risk of fires is highest between February and mid-summer, depending on rainfall. So far this year, nearly 12 thousand acres of forest have been burned.