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By BOB WHITE
HARDIN COUNTY – Kentucky’s spring fire season begins today, meaning woody debris may not be burned within 150 feet of tree-lines or between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. regardless of the amount of storm debris strewn across the state.
Most city governments have protocol relating to outside burns, with most requiring burn permits.
Burning without a permit in unincorporated areas of the county is allowed as long as it is conducted within state guidelines.
Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Steve Gray said a county judge-executive and a mayor have contacted his office about bending the fire season rules, but said foresters have no authority to change the state law regarding seasonal burning restrictions.
“I think keeping the regs in place is important because there will be so much debris to burn, some fires will escape causing additional forest fires,” Gray said. “Those fires will be more difficult to control due to the debris on the ground interfering with the control process.”
KDF Ranger Byron Nelson, who works Hardin and Breckinridge counties, agrees.
He said that, while ice storm and this week’s wind damage is widespread, leniency in burn restrictions isn’t warranted.
Nelson recommends property owners with large burn piles stick to the rules and contact Hardin County dispatch at (270) 737-4217 to notify them of the burn. Extremely large burns also should be reported to KDF’s Elizabethtown office (270) 766-5010.
“We’ll work with people too,” Nelson said. “I’ll look at a situation to see if there’s room for escape. If people use a little common sense, they’ll be all right.”
Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.