Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


March 13, 2014

Harsh winter has increased the likelihood of forest fires

ASHLAND — Here’s an increased hazard resulting from the harsh winter of 2013-14 that does not come immediately to mind for most of us: forest fires

The Kentucky Division of Forestry in Hazard says  more than 5,000 acres have been damaged by forest and brush fires in eastern Kentucky this year. State officials say 653 acres were burned over the weekend in 44 different fires.

Officials say fires are burning harder and faster this winter because it’s been so cold. They say the freeze pulled all the moisture out of the ground.

Many of the fires were caused when people burning brush allowed the blaze to get out of control.

“They thought because of the wetness we’ve had this winter, the fire wouldn’t escape, but the reality is the sun is hitting it now. We’ve got constant breeze, low humidity and it lets the fire escape,” Bell County Forest Ranger Lem Johnson said.

Some of the more than 200 blazes have been caused by arson.

Since it is “fire season,” officials remind Kentuckians it is illegal to burn between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Anyone with information about arson fires is asked to call the arson hotline at (800) 27-ARSON.

While most forest and brush fires may be ignited by individuals, we suspect the vast majority of so-called arsonists have no intention of burning hundreds of acres of forests. They simply are individuals who unintentionally let their fires get out of control. Let this be a warning to those who still burn off land in preparation for spring planting  that this year’s extraordinarily harsh winter has made burning outdoors even more hazardous than normal.

Text Only
  • PAUL CHITWOOD: Ruling on same-sex marriage defies state constitution

    News that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn once again usurped the will of Kentucky voters is tragic and disappointing. By declaring gay marriage legal in the commonwealth, Heyburn defied the essential, foundational governing document that ensures order and justice, the Constitution of Kentucky.

    July 8, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • Magolene S. Fraley 1929-2014

    Magolene Spears Fraley, 84, of Wurtland, died Saturday in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.

    May 17, 2014

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014

  • In Your View 5/13/14

    Letters to the editor:

    May 13, 2014