Take Care During Kentucky’s Spring Fire Hazard Season

by Chris Minor, Director of Land Management and Fire Manager

© The Nature Conservancy (Devan King)
© The Nature Conservancy (Devan King)

Kentucky’s spring fire hazard season, which started February 15 and runs through the end of April, is a time to take extra care when burning debris.  During the season, it is illegal to burn within 150 feet of woodland or brush between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., when conditions pose the highest threat of spreading fire.

Even during the allowed burn hours, everyone is required by law to take reasonable precautions to prevent spreading.  Those include:

  • Clear an area wide enough to prevent fire from spreading.
  • Keep water and a rake or shovel at hand.
  • Do not leave a fire unattended.
  • Burn only when the wind is calm and the humidity level is high.
  • Extinguish fire completely if conditions become windy.
  • Keep burn piles small to allow quick control of the fire if necessary.
  • Obey all outdoor burning laws including forest fire laws, air pollution regulations and local ordinances.

Fire hazard season also marks the beginning of Kentucky’s spring controlled burn season.  During this time trained personnel, with approval from Kentucky Division of Forestry, implement controlled burns in an effort to restore and maintain declining habitats such as prairies, glades, barrens, and woodlands.  Controlled burns are implemented under predetermined weather conditions in order to reduce the potential for negative impacts to targeted species and chances of wildfires. Without controlled burning many rare, endangered, or uncommon species and habitats have little chance of surviving for future generations to enjoy.

You can find more information about fire hazard season at http://www.forestry.ky.gov. To learn more about our controlled burning program, please visit our website.