With modern gun deer season starting this weekend and Kentucky’s woodlands bone-dry, a top state official has urged hunters to be careful.
Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely issued an open letter Friday advising hunters to check the status of local burn bans. Hunters can check for that information by contacting local fire departments, county officials or going to the Facebook page of the Kentucky Division of Forestry.
Such bans bar all outdoor burning, including campfires.
If a county does not have a burn ban, hunters must still follow rules that bar outdoor burning within 150 feet of woods between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and must monitor fires at all times, Snavely said.
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Snavely said there have been 210 fires since late October that have burned a total of 33,000 acres. Most of the fires have been in Harlan, Knox, Clay, Perry, and Letcher counties.
Of the 210 fires, about three-fourths were caused by arson, Snavely said.
He said the state also wants hunters to report wildfires or suspicious activity. The number to do that is 1-800-25-ALERT (1-800-252-5378).