Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Fires, Dry Conditions Create Hazards for Deer Hunters

By Mark Marraccini,
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

Frankfort, KY - More than 300,000 Kentucky hunters preparing for this weekend's modern gun deer season opener should be aware there are at least 22 wildland fires burning, many in southeast Kentucky, as drought conditions persist across the state. About 14,000 acres have burned in the Commonwealth since Oct. 29.

"Hunters can help by using camp stoves and lanterns instead of building campfires and by being diligent in extinguishing any cigarettes," said Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Greg Johnson. "We also need to be mindful of hot exhausts on our trucks, cars and ATVs. Hot exhausts easily can start fires given the exceptionally dry conditions that exist now nearly everywhere."

Fifty-two counties have instituted burning bans across the Commonwealth. They include: Adair, Ballard, Barren, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Butler, Calloway, Carlisle, Carter, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Fleming, Floyd, Franklin, Fulton, Graves, Harlan, Harrison, Hart, Hickman, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Livingston, Magoffin, Marshall, McCracken, McCreary, Monroe, Montgomery, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle, Rowan, Warren, Wayne, Webster and Whitley counties.

Gov. Matt Bevin declared a statewide emergency last week and urged all citizens to refrain from outdoor burning and use extreme caution during outdoor activities.

More than 400 firefighters from at least eight agencies are working round the clock to extinguish the wildland fires, but Kentucky Department for Natural Resources officials say without a soaking rain and safe fire practices by individuals, staying ahead of the fires will be very difficult.

Conservation officers from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will be on heightened alert as well. "We will be watching for careless or willful misuse of fire, and any other practices that could easily lead to a wildfire," Johnson said.

Hunters should keep plenty of water on hand while afield, and take extra caution in and around areas that have recently burned. Fire-weakened trees and limbs can fall without warning. Hunters should be vigilant to the location of active fires as well, since changing wind conditions can cause fires to shift and trap people. Hunters, hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts also should stay clear of the hundreds of firefighters who will be working through the weekend battling wildfires. These personnel will be wearing yellow clothing.

Safety is foremost. Hunters should be certain of their target and background. Hunters also can help tremendously by being vigilant. Anyone observing a fire condition should call the Poaching Hotline at 1-800-25-ALERT (1-800-252-5378).

This story was posted on 2016-11-08 11:56:04
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.