Fire Weather/Fire Prevention Awareness Week
continues today with a look at drought and its effects on wildfires.
Kentucky where large portions of those regions of the state were in
moderate to severe drought conditions for several weeks. During
2010, 1,830 wildfires were reported across the Commonwealth with
54,593 acres burned, or the highest acres burned total since 2001.
Several months of above normal rainfall across much of Eastern
Kentucky during 2014 has led to normal to above normal rainfall
in many locations. Parts of Kentucky, Licking, and Big Sandy Valleys
have receive rainfall of eight or more inches above normal.
However, rainfall has been three to six inches below normal in locations
along the Va and Tn borders from Harlan County south to Bell County and
west to Wayne County.
Current trends and long range outlooks indicate that temperatures should
average above normal for the remainder of October with equal chances of
above normal, normal, or below normal precipitation. The long range
outlook for the three month October through December 2014 period, issued
by the Climate Prediction Center, indicates that above normal temperatures
and equal chances for above normal, normal, and below normal precipitation
are anticipated across Eastern Kentucky.
Since the long range forecast indicates that normal or below normal
precipitation could occur during the fall fire weather season, it is
important to be alert to the increased threat of wildfires during drought
conditions and short-lived dry periods, especially for those whose
homes are in forested areas, or those who plan to visit area forests.
The following are some safety tips to help protect life and property
1. Check with your local county judge executive/s office or local, state
or federal fire authorities to obtain current fire restriction
2. Clear campfire sites down to bare soil. Circle the fire pit with
rocks, and build the campfire away from overhanging branches, dry
grass or leaves, pine needles, logs and steep slopes.
3. Never leave a camp fire unattended. When putting out a campfire,
douse the fire thoroughly with water, stir the ashes and douse
it again. Keep a bucket and shovel nearby.
4. Homes near forested areas should have trees and shrubs thinned at least
30 feet from buildings. Remove lower tree branches, especially those
that may overhang the roof.
5. Rake and clear surface fuels, such as leaves, limbs and pine
needles, away from homes in wooded areas. For detailed
information on protecting your home from wildfires, visit the
Firewise website at www.firewise.org or
The next topic during Fire Weather/Fire Prevention Awareness Week will
be, Red Flag Warning an extreme fire weather condition.
For additional fire weather information, please
visit the following website: www.crh.noaa.gov/jkl/fire.php