Only three days into the fall fire season, Knox County has experienced its first arson caused forest fire.
The fire occurred at the junction of 1304 and 229 on October 3 and was three acres big.
“Thanks to Bailey Switch Fire Department for a fast response time and containing the fire which allowed Kentucky division of forestry personnel to arrive and control the fire at 3 acres with no injuries or property harmed,” said forest warden Tony Smith.
Officials warn if the current patterns continue, the smoky haze that blanketed the community last fall could come back in full force, though.
Due to drought conditions, the 2016 fire season claimed thousands of acres of Knox County land alone, left the majority of Kentucky under burn bans and caused air quality issues across the state.
“If the weather stays like it has been, it’s following the same pattern as last fall,” said Smith.
One of the single biggest fires last fall burned an estimated 650 acres of land on Bull Creek. Fires on Caleb’s Creek, Gregory Branch and in the Gray area also burned nearly 1,000 acres total.
Thanks to the hard work of countless forest wardens, firefighters, first responders and volunteers, no structures in Knox County were lost last year and there were no reported injuries.
Fire season runs October 1 through December 15. Visit fs.usda.gov for more information, including fire restrictions. If any changes occur, we will provide updates at www.mountainadvocate.com.