County fire chief warns landowners to be cautious during fire season

James Mayse, Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.
·2 min read

Apr. 8—A few more weeks are left in fire season, and the Daviess County Fire Department is warning people to be cautious when burning brush on their property.

County Fire Chief Jeremy Smith said the department has responded to a number of recent calls of grass and field fires.

"We have had an uptick, which we do every year," Smith said Wednesday. The fires are usually caused by people clearing property in the county by burning brush.

"Some of them are larger and will get out of hand," he said. "We've had several windy days.

"Most of them are someone will start a fire, and the wind picks up and spreads it across the field," Smith said. "... Once it hits that dead grass, it will move a fire quickly."

The current fire season started in mid-February and runs through April 30.

Only brush can be burned. Burning trash, building supplies or man-made items is prohibited.

Smith said county residents with property of one acre or less must get a permit from the fire department prior to burning. A permit is free and can be picked up by calling the East County or Airport fire stations.

A person with property of more than one acre does not need a permit. But Smith said anyone burning brush must stay with the fire at all times until the fire is out and the burned area is cold to the touch.

"If you're going to set a fire, you have to be with it," he said. Fires that get out of control often happen when the person doing the burning leaves the fire unattended, Smith said.

If a fire is planned within 150 feet of brush or woodland, the burning can only take place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"At night, the dew is heavier, the humidity is down," Smith said. "It's a little bit safer.

"You do have to stay with that fire and monitor the fire at all times," Smith said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse