Wildfire at Natural Bridge State Resort Park Closes Trails

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 18, 2023)
 – More than four dozen firefighters from the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF), U.S. Forest Service Daniel Boone National Forest and local fire departments are responding with multiple engines and aerial resources to a five-acre fire at Natural Bridge State Resort Park/Nature Preserve in Slade, Kentucky that has closed all trails at the park.

The fire, which began late Monday, is located near the sky bridge platform and is burning on state-owned land, which is also a dedicated nature preserve. Once the fire is contained and the spread is stopped, crews will turn their efforts into controlling the fire by extinguishing any smoldering material and reinforcing control lines. The cause of the wildfire is under investigation.

All parking lots in the park, except the lodge parking lot, remain closed to the public. While there is no current danger to the park’s lodge and cottages, it is unknown when the park will be able to reopen its trails. For more information on the park, please see updates at: parks.ky.gov/ and on Natural Bridge State Resort Park’s Facebook page: facebook.com/nbsrp.

“Kentucky is still in spring wildfire hazard season, which lasts until April 30, and we urge everyone to use great caution when outdoors or when burning debris during this season,” said Division of Forestry Director/State Forester Brandon Howard. 

During this time, KRS 149.400 prohibits any person to burn between the daylight hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland. 

The KDF has responded to 628 wildland fires since January 1. While 10% of the wildfires were a result of downed power lines sparking fires during wind events, the majority of the wildfires have been a result of escaping outdoor debris burning and arson. 

April is typically a high wildfire occurrence month and KDF encourages residents considering debris burning to exercise caution to keep people safe, and property and forestland undamaged.

Forestry officials say that public efforts can go a long way in reducing the occurrence of a wildfire. Taking extra precautions with debris fires and campfires and being alert to forest arson can eliminate the majority of wildfires that occur in Kentucky.

Report suspicious acts of arson to local law enforcement, the nearest Kentucky State Police post or call the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON.

For more information on ways that you can prevent wildfires and loss of property, along with a map of local KDF field offices, visit https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/Pages/default.aspx