Dry weather causing concerns about forest fires

In this hot, dry weather, there is a growing concern about forest fires.

Kentucky Foresters tell 14 News that generally the spring fire season ends in April, but they've seen 35 fires so far this month, and they say this week's weather isn't looking up.

Kentucky residents like Wes Lykins say setting off fireworks at 4th of July is a yearly tradition, one he says this summer's dry weather might change.

"Usually, but we probably won't since the alert's still out, you know," Lykins said.

The Green River District of Kentucky's Forestry Division says six of their 12 counties are now under a burn ban. They say humidity this week is down in the 20's, an ideal number they say is at least 50.

"Most of our counties, from what I'm hearing from the weather folks are we're 12 to 14 inches behind on normal rainfall for the year," said Kayo Maddox, a district forester.

Just by picking up a handful of grass you can hear and feel just how dry these conditions are. The Department of Forestry says another main concern is the wind.

"What we start to worry about is when a front comes in and the wind starts to shift on us. Then, we have to change our tactics," said Susan Nightingale, a Dist. Ranger Technician.

Maddox tells 14 News the Green River District in Western Kentucky has seen seven fires just this month. Maddox says Kentucky officials had a conference call Tuesday morning to discuss those conditions, Western Kentucky seeing the worst of the drought. He says aside from following burn bans the only thing to do is pray for rain.

"No burning out there. It is critically dry. Just be really careful," Maddox said.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry says the tri-state counties under a burn ban right now are Henderson, Union, Webster, McLean, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Crittenden. Webster County, they say, also has a ban on fireworks.

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