Frankfort, Ky. (March 10, 2017) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) has dispatched a dozen firefighters to assist the state of Oklahoma, where fires have burned nearly 900,000 acres in the northwest part of Oklahoma.
The firefighters, who departed from Kentucky yesterday morning, included one public information officer, one task force leader, two dozer bosses, three engine bosses, three engine operators and two firefighter type IIs. The Division of Forestry also sent threeType-6 Wildland Fire Engines and two JD-650 dozers with plows to assist Oklahoma’s fire efforts as part of the Southern Wildland Fire Compact.
The KDF employees today are at the Woodward County Fairgrounds in Woodward, OK, where they will receive their assignment. They are expected to be deployed at the “Selman Fire” in Woodward and Harper Counties where more than 47,000 acres have been scorched.
The forestry division is pleased to assist Oklahoma with this fire emergency. Being a member of the Southern Wildland Fire Compact ensures that other states can assist Kentucky should a future fire situation require their help.
“I’m very proud we can offer assistance to our neighbors, while providing an opportunity for our employees to showcase their skills and increase their training opportunities,” said KDF Director Bill Steele. “I feel the KDF can handle any short-term increase in fire activity utilizing our resources with a little planning and flexibility.”
The KDF is experiencing a below average number of fires thus far during the Spring Fire Hazard Season, as compared to the past 10 years. However, debris burning continues to be a problem and forestry officials want to remind private landowners, public land managers and homeowners to help prevent wildland fires. To find out how you can prevent a wildfire from striking your home, visit the Kentucky Division of Forestry website at http://forestry.ky.gov/.