Officials with the Division of Forestry say it took them a little over five hours to control the fire, which is believed to be the work of arsonists, and that no structures were threatened or damaged.
Shelby Conway, a District Ranger with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, said that arson is nothing out of the ordinary and also asks for the public’s help with information that may lead to an arrest.
“We ask that the community would help us by calling in with any information about possible arsonists or if they know of somebody that has set a fire. Any information is good for us,” Conway said.
The Kentucky River District of the Division of Forestry, which covers nine counties (Letcher, Knott, Perry, Breathitt, Owsley, Lee, Wolfe, Estill, and Powell), was also busy fighting other fires in the area on Friday evening and over the weekend and say that the weather conditions have made fire conditions just right.
“We have a spike in fire activity when we get above a two to three day dry period. The dry conditions are getting it ramped up,” he noted.
Conway said that even though the area has been receiving a lot of rain, the top layers of the leaves on the forest floor are dry enough to burn. He also said that early morning frosts contribute to fire conditions because the frost freeze-dries the leaves by drawing out all their moisture.
There were 12 fires in the Kentucky River District from Friday until Sunday, which Conway said was probably more than any other time during the season.
The spring forest fire season began February 15 and ends on April 30.
Due to strong winds and low humidity which could bring an increased threat for wild fires the National Weather Service in Jackson issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the Kentucky River District. It was allowed to expire Tuesday evening.
Since the spring fire season began the Kentucky River District has battled 94 fires.