Fire department responds to debris fire

By Nola Sizemore nsizemore@civitasmedia.com

February 24, 2014

Responding to a report of a structure fire in the Keith area Monday morning, Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Steven Hatfield said the fire was found to be debris burning.

“We were paged out at about 6:50 a.m. Monday for a possible structure fire on U.S. 119 at Keith at a home just below the UPS building,” said Hatfield. “One of our firefighters, who lives close to this location, responded and upon his arrival he found a man burning the insulation off copper wiring close to his residence, which is near a mountainside. The spring season for the forest fire hazard season began on Feb. 15 and will end on April 30. The ban is no burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and not within 150 feet of a mountain.”

Forest fires are a major threat to Kentucky’s forests. The average number of wildland fires in Kentucky each year is 1,447. Arson is the number one cause of wildland fires in Kentucky and the second-leading cause of wildland fires is uncontrolled debris burning.

According to the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s current wildland fire activity report through Feb. 20, counties reporting fire activity were: Harlan, Leslie, Floyd, Pike, Knott, Whitley, Lee and Cumberland counties. Year-to-date there have been 69 wildland fires reported with 1,672 acres burned. Of those fires 39 were the result of arson, 18 from burning debris and 12 from other causes.

Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde