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Fall fire season now in place in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT -- The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) is using noses and paws to catch arsonists as the fall wildfire season, which runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15, gets underway. 

During the wildfire hazard season outdoor burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland.

Bloodhounds trained to investigate arson cases will be available for the second year. Through a partnership with the Bell County Forestry Camp, multiple bloodhounds and handlers are now available to assist KDF with wildfire arson investigation.

The Division of Forestry will also partner with the Kentucky State Police (KSP), using KSP arson investigators to assist in investigation, interviewing and arrest of arsonists.

Forestry officials agree that vigorous investigation is the key to catching arsonists, but community effort is needed if arson is to be eliminated. 

“Everybody loses when wildland arsonists strike: families can lose their homes, firefighters are put at unnecessary risk, taxpayers foot the bill for suppressing the fires and jobs are often eliminated when the forest resource is reduced,” said Leah W. MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “To bring arson to an end, we need the entire community to get involved.”

Kentucky has an arson hotline so citizens can call to report arson. Information regarding arson or suspected arsonists should be reported by calling the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON. 

Notifiers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information provided leads to the arrest and indictment of an arsonist.

For questions about local restrictions regarding burning, call the local fire department and the Division for Air Quality at 502-564-3999.