Local News

Forestry Division Completes First Tree Survey

The Kentucky Division of Forestry has completed its initial assessment of storm damage from the recent ice and wind storms, and private property owners could receive federal money for their damaged trees.

Most of Kentucky’s forests are on private land. If trees on that land were badly damaged in the storms, federal funds will be made available to prune or cut down the trees and to clean up the mess from fallen debris.

Division spokesperson Lynn Brammer says officials want the debris to be picked up soon because it increases the potential for forest fires.

“That’s our biggest concern, really, is that at this point all of the fallen debris will accumulate and dry out and add to the fuel load in the forest that could not only cause a wildfire but intensify one,” she says.

Brammer isn’t sure when the money for damaged trees will be available or how much will come to Kentucky.

Local News

Storms Increased Chance Of Forest Fires

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.