Forest Fire Season

We are only a few days into the spring fire season and already our forests are burning up. Tony has an update on the smokey setting.

Showers Needed to Dose Fires

It has been a “hellacious” start to spring fire season with foresters and volunteer fire fighters busy in all 3 states since this past weekend.

On Tuesday, Milton foresters reported the tall pines near Grassy Lick on the Wayne-Cabell line were ablaze with fire shooting 20 feet high. It took several drops from a helicopter to help try to control this fire. I had no late word on the status of this fire at press time.

Meanwhile, the Ironton fire from Monday had been 80% contained as of early evening on Tuesday, but not before charring 100 acres of woodlands. Said Tim Slone of Division of Forestry, “We have a fire line bulldozed around the fire. That should contain it as long as the wind doesn’t get out of hand again”. Tim was referring to the weekend winds which topped 30 miles per pour while accompanying 80 degree temperatures and 30% humidities.

Same goes for the 100 acre fire near Cabin Creek. This fire has been burning since Sunday. Late this Tuesday afternoon foresters told me the fire was active but contained. A crew remained on the scene as a precaution since late afternoon winds were again gusting near 30 miles per hour.

Other small fires were scattered across the region.

While some showers and cooler weather are due in by dawn, the amount of rain looked to be minor with a tenth to perhaps if we are lucky a quarter inch of rain slated to fall.

As we saw on Tuesday morning, the brief morning shower and cloud cover did keep humidity levels higher and temperatures lower. So clearly every little bit helps.

There are signs of a colder and wetter pattern for the weekend and next week. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

A reminder that legal burn times vary; namely, in Ohio and Kentucky, you may burn vegetation only (NEVER TRASH) from 6 in the eve until 6 at dawn provided you live outside city limits and have a permit. In WV, the legal time to burn starts at 4 in the afternoon and runs until 7 the next morn.

As Tom Oxley, a district forest manager out of Charleston told me 2 weeks ago, “typically our worst conditions occur right before the forests green up in April”. So what we are seeing now may be a preview of coming events. Let’s hope not.

Best to put all burning off until we get soaking rains.
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