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Kentucky, Johnson

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 12:26 PM EDT on October 07, 2015

... Fire weather/fire prevention awareness week continues today
with a look at drought and its effects on wildfires...

Climatic conditions... such as long term drought... play a major role
in the number and intensity of wildfires. The lack of rainfall... in
conjunction with very warm temperatures... allows wildland
vegetation... such as dead leaves... trees and branches... to become
unusually dry. The dry vegetation is very susceptible to the
potential for fire... especially when daytime relative humidities are
low and wind speeds are high.

The fall of 2010 was drier than normal across much of the region... .
though drought conditions were much worse in central and western KY
where large portions of those regions of the state were in a
moderate to severe drought for several weeks. During 2010... 1,830
wildfires were reported across the commonwealth with 54,593 acres
burned... or the highest number of acres burned total since 2001.

Several months of above normal rainfall across much of eastern
Kentucky during 2015 has led to slightly above normal to much above
normal rainfall across all of eastern and south-central Kentucky.
The greatest departures of 10 to 15 inches or more above normal so
far this year are across the Big Sandy Valley and locations along
and north of the mountain Parkway.

Current trends and long range outlooks indicate that there are equal
chances of above normal... normal... or below normal temperatures 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 2015 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

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 or any 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
from wildfires.

1. Check with your local County judge executive/S office or
   local... state or federal fire authorities to obtain current fire
   restriction information.

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 Forest 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
   http://forestry.KY.Gov/wildlandfiremanagement (all lower case).

The topic for Thursday will be... red flag warnings... extreme fire
weather conditions.


For additional fire weather information... please go to the following
website: www.Weather.Gov/jkl/fire (all lower case).

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