Smoke lingered for several miles along the Mountain Parkway recently. A substantial portion of Tunnel Ridge Road in the Red River Gorge was closed due to the woodland fire.
While hiking an affected portion of the Sheltowee Trace several weeks before the fire, our group encountered several groups of deer and other species of small wildlife. This fire directly affects the environment in which they live.
It will take several decades for this area to flourish again.
There are several important things to consider when having a fire in the fall. First, obey fire restrictions when they are in place. Second, contain your fire to an existing fire ring.
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Third, take the time to clear the area surrounding the fire ring of dry leaves. Finally, properly extinguish your fire. According to the U.S. Forest Service, leaving a fire without putting it out is a major contributor to forest fires.
I thank the firefighters for their hard work, courage and determination. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.