The Kentucky Division of Forestry and area firefighters want to remind residents that spring fire season is in effect.
Between Feb. 15 and April 30, state law prohibits anyone from burning debris outdoors between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. within 150 feet of the woods.
West Knox Fire Chief Daryl Baker said his department was called to fight three separate brush fires over the weekend.
“We were able to contain them pretty quick, so we were lucky,” Baker said adding that firefighters in northern Laurel County could be heard on the radio battling multiple fires Sunday.
Baker said West Knox was called to two brush fires on Saturday.
At the scene on Johnson Hollow off of south Ky. 233, firefighters watched as the fire spread across a field to a stand of trees and shot up the trees in about 30 seconds.
“When it shot up those trees, it went up the bank to another field,” Baker said.
“Until you have seen a pine tree with just a little bit of flame underneath burst into flames that shoot 30 feet into the air, you can’t grasp just how fast a fire can get out of control,” Baker explained.
Baker cautioned residents to be aware of how the wind can fan the flames.
“If the wind is blowing, just don’t burn,” Baker asked. “Give it a few days to let the wind die down.”
Baker said when burning debris, residents should stay with the fire and have a water source readily available that can contain or extinguish it.
“Call 911 quick if the fire gets away from you,” Baker said. “Don’t worry about getting us out there for nothing.”
Officials with the division of forestry said campfires and barbeques could just as easily get out of control and warned that residents should take similar precautions.
When finished with charcoal or a campfire, forestry officials said it is important to soak the remains with water, stir them and then soak them again.
“Be sure they are out cold and carefully feel to be sure they are extinguished,” forestry officials stated. “Never dump hot ashes or coals in a wooded area.”
More than 3,000 acres of land in Whitley County were destroyed by wildfires in the fall.