The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) urges residents across the state to exercise caution when burning debris during this season. The KDF has responded to 78 wildland fires since January and nearly 40 percent have been attributed to debris burning.
After the drought last fall, and extreme wildfire conditions, it is important to remain vigilant about wildfires. In the spring, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. The KDF encourages residents considering debris burning to exercise caution and consider all factors in order to help maximize the safety to people, property and to the forest.
“Don’t burn on dry, windy days and maintain a careful watch over a fire until it is extinguished,” said Division of Forestry Director Bill Steele.
For people who choose to burn debris, the KDF urges them to:
- Consider alternatives to burning. Some yard debris, such as leaves and grass, may be more valuable if composted.
- Check with your county fire marshal’s office for local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours; others forbid it entirely.
- Check the weather. Don’t burn if conditions are dry or windy.
- Only burn natural vegetation from your property. Burning household trash or any other man-made materials is illegal. Trash should be hauled away.
- Plan burning for the late afternoon when conditions are typically less windy and more humid.
- If you must burn, be prepared. Use a shovel or hoe to clear a perimeter around the area where you plan to burn.
- Keep fire tools ready. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, a steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
- Never use flammable liquids such as kerosene, gasoline or diesel fuel to speed burning.
- Stay with your fire until it is completely out.
If your are burning agriculture residue and forestland litter, a fire line should be plowed around the area to be burned. Large fields should be separated into small plots for burning one at a time. Before doing any burning in a wooded area, contact your county ranger who will weigh all factors, explain them and offer advice.
For more information on ways you can prevent wildfires and loss of property visit http://forestry.ky.gov.