Fire temporarily forces Morehead students out of dorm

Just days after the start of Kentucky’s spring wildfire season, a residence hall at Morehead State University was evacuated late Friday because of a nearby fire.

The fire on the ridge line behind Nunn Hall was reported at about 11 p.m., and 248 students were moved out of the hall as a precaution, said Morehead State spokesman Jason Blanton.

He said most of the students stayed with friends, but 16 students went to the Laughlin Health Building while firefighters cleared the ridge to create a fire line. Blanton said the fire was contained after a few hours, and students were permitted back into the dorm.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry says Kentucky’s spring forest fire season began Wednesday and will last through April 30.

During the season, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of the woods between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The agency said in a news release that it has responded to 78 “wildland fires” since January, and nearly 40 percent of them were attributed to people burning debris.

The agency urged people to reconsider plans to burn debris and to check first with their county fire marshal, since some communities restrict burning.

“Don’t burn on dry, windy days and maintain a careful watch over a fire until it is extinguished,” said Division of Forestry Director Bill Steele.

The U.S. Forest Service also warned visitors to the Daniel Boone National Forest on Friday that there was an “extreme” risk of fire because of dry, windy weather conditions.