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Dry conditions are taking a toll on the Daniel Boone National Forest during wildfire season

District map of the Daniel Boone National Forest

Kentucky’s fall wildfire season is hitting the Daniel Boone National Forest. So far, every district of the forest has reported fires - which officials say is cause for concern. They say that dry conditions are a major factor.

Mary O’Malley is a public affairs specialist for the Daniel Boone National Forest. Coming into the fire season, she said Forest officials were worried about the potential number of fires.

“This year we’re having higher than normal numbers of wildfires, because we’re at the driest year in 12 years, if you can believe it, for this portion of the state,” O’Malley said.

She said the terrain in this region presents special challenges to firefighters.

“It makes it more treacherous for our firefighters just to get out there. Then it is more challenging to respond, so if you have a fire on top of a ridgeline, or a fire that is dropping under a gorge, you’ve got wildland firefighters who have to hike on back with all their tools and all their kit to fight that fire.”

O’Malley said over 99% of wildfires are started by people, either by accident or through arson. Along with the burn restrictions, some counties have burn bans. Anyone looking to burn brush or have a fire should check with their local county officials.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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