FRANKFORT – Kentucky law designates Feb. 15 through April 30 as spring forest fire hazard season. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The law is intended to prevent forest fires by allowing outdoor burning only after 6 p.m. when conditions are less likely to cause a wildfire to spread.
“Wildfire is an extremely dangerous situation that doesn’t have to happen,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry (KDF). “Kentuckians have lived with wildfires for so long that people think they are a natural occurrence, but nothing can be further from the truth. Deliberate or careless acts by people lead to wildfires with the largest two causes by far being arson and burning of trash and debris.” Last year, KDF suppressed 1,234 fires that burned 32,855 acres across the state, and arson continued being the leading cause of wildfires in Kentucky.
To reduce the risks of wildfire, forestry officials recommend that citizens be aware of fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws, campfire safety and precautions to take while burning woody debris. The following guidelines provided by KDF summarize the specifics of forest fire season:
For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe burning practices, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555 or visit the division’s website at http://forestry.ky.gov.