Bullitt County residents claim drought, cigarette created roadside fire

Drought conditions lead to fire at Bullitt County home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The longest dry spell in WAVE Country since 1999 continued Thursday.

Due to the unrelenting drought, at least eight Kentucky counties in the area are under burn bans. ​

“We haven’t had rain in over three weeks here,” Laken Strong, a Bullitt County woman, said.

Evidence of that in the form of withering plants and browning grass can be seen near her home, even though Bullitt County has yet to establish a burn ban.

Of course, the dying grass doesn’t look great, but that’s just the start of why people might not want it in their yard. ​

“It catches like that,” Strong said.

Strong said she knows that all too well after what she saw Wednesday.

“I saw smoke coming from the grass,” Strong said.

She said her neighbor wasn’t home at the time, but she saw smoke rising.

Driving past her neighbor’s house on Highway 44 in Bullitt County, Strong said she noticed something wasn’t right. ​

“Where it’s more black, that’s obviously where the flames were coming up,” Strong said, pointing out a patch of singed grass. ​

She said flames were about a foot high, growing quickly, as her, her husband, another couple and an employee from a nearby nursery worked to put them out. ​

“We actually saw a cigarette butt, my husband did, over at the area,” Strong said.

Strong believes that’s what started the roadside blaze, a driver passing by, likely thinking nothing of it. ​

“Uggh. It’s frustrating,” Strong said. ​"If you want to smoke, that’s fine. Don’t let it affect others, and their homes, their livelihood, their lives."

She said she hopes it’s a reminder to some, that when the ground is this dry, even a small spark can lead to a big problem.

Strong said she’s glad it was just grass that caught on fire, and that this didn’t happen in more heavily-wooded area.

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