Despite ban, forest fires continue in Boone

A new 70-acre forest fire burned Monday just outside the Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

The blaze is the 14th uncontrolled fire across about 1,200 acres in the Daniel Boone.

The fire closed Tunnel Ridge Road between Auxier Ridge and the Pioneer Parking lot above the Nada area in Powell County, Marie Walker, a Daniel Boone Forest spokeswoman, said.

Reported Sunday morning, the fire was thought to have stemmed from a campfire overnight.

The fire was discouraging to forestry officials who banned campfires in the Boone a week ago. Despite the ban, 55 citations were issued for illegal campfires or other infractions over the weekend, Walker said.

The fine for an illegal campfire is $75. In addition, a person can be required to pay restitution for efforts used to extinguish the fire, she said.

Officials are also bringing in forest service law enforcement officers to patrol the area and discourage people from starting campfires.

Officials hope to get the latest fire under control or at least contained in the coming days. The dry weather has made it difficult to suppress the fires because dry leaves fall from trees and add fuel to the fires, Walker said.