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Wildfires, drought lead to campfire ban in Daniel Boone National Forest

Wildfires like this one in the Mill Creek area of the Daniel Boone National Forest led to Thursday's decision to ban campfires.
Bill Ryan
/
Daniel Boone National Forest
Wildfires like this one in the Mill Creek area of the Daniel Boone National Forest led to Thursday's decision to ban campfires.

The U.S. Forest Service Thursday banned campfires in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The move came after nearly two weeks of wildfires in eastern and southeastern Kentucky. Tim Eling is a public affairs officer for the Daniel Boone National Forest, which stretches across 21 counties and 700-thousand acres.

“We're in severe drought conditions and parts of eastern Kentucky. We've had a lot of fire activity. We have low humidities and strong winds, lack of rain, leaves falling off the trees.”

Thursday afternoon, Eling said there were two wildfires in the Daniel Boone National Forest. He said the Forest Service partners with the state Division of Forestry, which handles fires on private lands. Eling and his colleagues hope visitors observe the ban for several reasons.

“We are wanting to do this for public safety. We want to do this for the resources. And just ask people to please cooperate while we're in these fire conditions right now, in this dry weather pattern that we've been in.”

A U.S. Forest Service news release said campfires are permitted in developed campgrounds and picnic areas – if they’re in metal fire rings and pedestal grills installed by the Forest Service.

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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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