Wildfire cause still undetermined

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Fire chief says it appears to be accidental

By Marty Finley

The wildfire that burned 100 acres or more Sunday in southern Hardin County along New Glendale Road nearly was extinguished Monday, but fire officials still had not determined an exact cause.

Glendale Fire Chief Richard Peters, who led the command post, said it appears the fire was ignited accidentally, possibly by a discarded cigarette.

The fire originated along a fence line in the 1200 block of West Rhudes Creek Road between Overall-Phillips Road and New Glendale Road.

Peters said firefighters were informed a hunter was in the area when the fire started, but officials were unable to locate and talk to him, he said.

Peters asked smokers to be diligent in properly disposing of their cigarettes, especially during dry conditions.

He said some standing timber still was burning Monday afternoon, but the immediate threat to homes and properties has passed.

“There’s really nothing in danger of burning right now,” he said.

Weather assisted the situation as the dry warmth and steady winds Sunday gave way to rain on Monday.

Peters said no serious injuries were reported. One firefighter twisted an ankle but did not require emergency transportation from the scene.

A house destroyed in the 3500 block of New Glendale Road had been vacant for about two years according to neighbors, Peters said. The fire also claimed some barns and outbuildings, but Peters said fire departments were able to keep the flames away from “livable” homes.

Wind gusts of up to 32 mph blew the thick plumes of smoke far from where the flames lapped. Peters admitted the wind conditions made firefighters’ jobs harder as it blew the smoke north into Elizabethtown, the acrid smell coming with it.

“The wind was a bear last night,” he said.

Eight fire departments, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Hardin County EMS, Nolin RECC and Kentucky Utilities responded to the massive blaze, which broke out around 5 p.m. Sunday. It was one of three field fires confronted by local departments Sunday.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.