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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Wildland Fire Hazard Seasons and Enforcement

Potato Knob Fire sunsetThe Division of Forestry is responsible for fighting wildland fires on private lands and enforcing forest fire hazard seasons and other outdoor burning regulations.  During forest fire hazard season, it is illegal to burn between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland.  The season dates are as follows:

  • Spring Forest Fire Hazard Season: Feb. 15 through April 30
  • Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season: Oct. 1 though Dec. 15

Wildland Fire Suppression Efforts

first responder controling wild fireWildland fires have been occurring in Kentucky for thousands of years.  Native Americans used fire to clear land for wildlife and early settlers adopted these same land-clearing techniques.  Unfortunately, these fires began to threaten homes and communities prompting the need to suppress wildfires and establish forest protection laws. The first forest protection laws were enacted in 1831 in a few specific counties with heavily wooded areas.  The fine and penalty for setting a fire was $20.  Today, Kentucky's forest protection laws include much stiffer penalties for intentionally setting a fire on land owned by another (KRS 149.380).  The penalties for violating KRS 149.380 include a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $10,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both fine and imprisonment.  

Although the Division of Forestry is the lead agency in fighting wildfires on private lands, there is no one agency that can fight all the wildland fires in Kentucky.  Oftentimes, wildfire suppression may involve a number of different agencies as well as rural and city fire departments.  On larger fires or during times of extreme fire activity, agencies will work together under the Incident Command System to fight fires.  Resource mobilization for larger fires originate at the Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center.  

Wildland Fire Historical Statistics

Wildland Fire Links

Daniel Boone National Forest - Fire Management

Fire Danger Class Map

Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center

Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council

National Fire Protection Association

National Interagency Fire Center 

National Weather Service Fire Weather

National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Southern Wildfire Prevention

USDA Fire and Aviation

Wildland Fire Assessment System

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