Strong winds hamper firefighters battling wildfires near Ft. Duffield

Elizabethtown, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - More than 200 acres have burned at Fort Duffield after dry conditions sparked wildfires in the area.

Firefighters had the flames controlled Saturday, but West Point Fire Chief Jeff Wright said the wind played a role.

"We had it pretty well knocked down," Wright said. "The wind got [it] back up. The embers were flying."

About 50 firefighters from four departments have worked to try to keep the fire contained. Firefighters have already dug a more than 2 miles long path around the fire to keep it from spreading. Chief Wright said they would dig another break line on Monday.

"If we don't get a handle on it, we're going to have to go in and cut a breakline in case it jumps over," Wright said. "Then we can put it out."

Chief Wright believes the fire at Fort Duffield started because of the fires at Fort Knox. Fort Knox Media Relations Officer Anne Torphy says anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 acres have burned on post. Torphy says the Fort Knox fires sparked Wednesday due to dry conditions and as a result of training exercises, but says she does not know the source of the Fort Duffield fire.

Gary Brewer, who lives nearby, has been watching fires spread at Fort Duffield.

"We're just very concerned and you can see why," Brewer said. "The only thing separating that fire and this cornfield and my log home is about a 20 foot section of Salt River."

Brewer says he planned to stay up all night to make sure embers and ashes did not ignite a wildfire on his property.

"It's pretty to look at," Brewer said. "But very scary and dangerous when something is out of your control of course. I know [firefighters] are doing the best they can with what they have to work with."

There has been a small amount of rainfall in the area, but Chief Wright says it has not been enough to extinguish the flames. On Sunday, the Kentucky Air National Guard used Black Hawk helicopters to help keep the wildfire from spreading.

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