After ice and flooding, Eastern Kentucky now contends with fire

FALLSBURG, Ky. — First came a crippling ice storm. Then, much of Eastern Kentucky was covered in floodwaters.

Now, with most people welcoming warmer, drier weather, officials warn of another danger — forest fires.

The National Weather Service says that the pleasant weather brings low humidity and gusty winds, creating prime conditions for brush fires.

And that potential is becoming an actuality. The Fallsburg Volunteer Fire Department posted on its Facebook page about responding to two fires Sunday night.

And it isn’t just the ideal fire conditions that are to blame, as firefighters are also being kept busy by arsonists. The Kentucky Division of Forestry reports more than 60 forest fires breaking out across the state between Thursday and Sunday, with the overwhelming majority of them in Eastern Kentucky. And more than half of those fires were the result of arson.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry reports more than 60 fires across the state since March 4, and more than half of them were the result of arson.
The Kentucky Division of Forestry reports more than 60 fires across the state since March 4, and more than half of them were the result of arson.

Kentucky is currently in the midst of spring fire season, which runs from Feb. 15 to April 30 each year. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any forest or brush land between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Firefighters could get some relief from the weather later in the week. Rain is expected to return to the region Thursday evening.