Crews continue to battle forest fires in several counties across the region

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:01 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2023 at 10:08 PM EST
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EASTERN KENTUCKY (WYMT) - As more Eastern Kentucky counties issue burn bans, fires continue to burn in several others.

One of the biggest ones we had been tracking was just right across from our studios in Hazard behind the Hazard ARH Medical Mall on Town Mountain. Kessley Baker, a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, tells us that the fire is now 100% contained.

There are two other active fires in Perry County. One is around 10 acres on Opek Drive at Bulan and is about 75% contained. The other is estimated at 70 acres on Feb Fork Road near Buckhorn and as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, it was not at all contained.

In Knott County, the Signal Knob fire is the only one active. We are told it is burning 20 acres on Fire Coal Branch and it is not contained as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

In Letcher County, there is about 60% containment on the 80-acre Delta Drive fire.

In Harlan County, where officials declared a State of Emergency on Sunday, crews are working several fires, including one in the Crummies community near the Virginia state line. Two other fires are burning in the community of Smith and another is burning in Kenvir. No word on the size or containment of those.

In the Big Sandy, two fires are currently burning in Martin County. Judge Executive Lon Lafferty tells WYMT’s Jack Demmler they are in the Long Branch and Setser Branch areas. We’re told the Division of Forestry is monitoring both and at last check, there was no immediate threat to homes or people. In Floyd County, Judge Executive Robbie Williams told WYMT’s Armando Barry two fires are burning in the city of Martin, but did not know where or how big they are.

Statewide, more than 100 fires are burning nearly 9,300 acres.

As of now, most of the Kentucky Division of Forestry is mobilizing at the Hazard and Pineville locations to give local volunteer departments a much-needed break. There is no time frame on when they will be here.

Eight out-of-state forestry crews, six from Oregon and two from Idaho, will be split up between the two locations listed above when they arrive.

In the counties that are not under active burn bans, forestry officials strongly encourage you to follow the fall forest fire season rules, which prohibit burning between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

If you would like to look at current active fires across the state, please visit this website.