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State Division of Forestry asking other states for help battling blazes in southeastern Kentucky

As of Tuesday, April 25, the fire at Natural Bridge State Resort Park battled by 100 state and federal firefighters is considered out.
Mike McMillan
U.S. Forest Service
As was the case during last summer's fire at Natural Bridge (shown here), state Division of Forestry officials are asking for help from other states, including Oregon.

Forest fires in several southeastern Kentucky counties are keeping local, state and federal firefighters busy. Harlan County’s judge-executive declared a state of emergency Sunday. Steve Kull is with the state Division of Forestry. Monday afternoon, he said fires are being fought in Harlan, Bell, Knox and Owsley counties.

"A lot of things have led up to the current situation, continuing drought and such made it so dry that this past weekend, we had a lot of fire activity and those fires because of the drought are very difficult to contain.”

There are so many forest fires in Kentucky that state officials are asking for outside help. Unfortunately, nearby states have a shortage of firefighters, too, thanks to blazes they’re fighting. Kull said assistance could come from the northwest.

“Right now, in conversations with Oregon that could potentially supply our personnel needs. We’re asking for 10 crews, so not definite, some finalization logistics has to happen, but we are trying to get help from outside of Kentucky.”

During the Natural Bridge Fire last summer, firefighters came from several distant states, including Oregon, and even Puerto Rico.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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