75 Firefighters Contain Raging Kentucky Wildfire Following ‘Labor Intensive’ Battle

by Samantha Whidden
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(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

A total of 10 fire departments consisting of 75 firefighters took out a massive wildfire in Fairdale, Kentucky on Friday (November 11th). According to WLKY, the Zoneton Fire Department officials say that just after 6 p.m. on Thursday (November 10th) a wildfire was reported on South Park Hill in Fairdale’s fire district.

The area is notably south of the Gene Snyder between South Park Road and I-65. The fire was reportedly estimated to have involved 80 acres of land. Although it didn’t damage any homes, it did come within 800 feet of structures. 10 fire departments and roughly 75 firefighters took on the fire for more than 11 hours. 

Speaking about the wildfire, Zoneton Fire Department spokesman Rich Carlson stated, “Fires like these are very labor intense. Access to the fire was difficult as we cannot get our all-terrain vehicles close enough to use their pumps.”

Carlson further stated that it was all hands-on work. With firefighters trekking through several hundred yards to get to the wildfire line. He noted that it was more difficult due to the fire being at night. This meant visibility was low. 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear Revealed More Than 50 Wildfires Were Burning Through the State

The latest wildfire comes the same as Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear reported more than 50 fires were burning through 28 counties. He advised Kentuckians to stop outdoor burning in order to avoid more fires from starting. 

LEX18 reported that the fires covered around 6,000 acres. Steve Kull, an environmental scientist at the Kentucky Division of Forestry, spoke to the media outlet about the situation. “We can prevent a lot of the fires that happen here in Kentucky, even though it’s dry and conditions are ripe for a fire to spread,” he explained. “If we don’t have that spark or that initial start, then we don’t have the concern of wildfires.”

Kull also stated that 99% of the wildfires in Kentucky are caused by some activity by humans. These are possibly accidental, having a debris fire behind their homes. “And it gets away, winds pick up, everything to our major cause, which is unfortunately arsonists –  people deliberately setting the woods on fire.”

Division of Forestry also stated that 521 of Kentucky’s 1,101 wildfires in 2022 were caused by arson. Kull stated that fires started by arsonists can be devastating. “A lot of times, arsonists, just by nature, are somewhat secluded or will be a little more sneaky,” he said. “So they’ll set fires in isolated areas and a lot of times, those will be bigger and harder to put out.”

Kentucky’s fall wildfire season continues through December 15.