Due to the severe drought conditions, Forest Supervisor Jerome Perez has issued an emergency forest-wide order that prohibits “possession, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device” in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The order was effective on June 27 and will extend throughout the next 120 days.

“The use of fireworks has never been permitted in our developed recreation areas, but the emergency order extends the prohibition of fireworks and other incendiaries to the general forest area,” said Perez. “I felt this step was necessary to ensure the safety of our forest visitors. We are urging all visitors to use extreme caution with fire on the forest during this severely dry weather period.”

“We’ve had an unusually high number of wildfires on the forest for this time of year,” Perez said. “In spite of some recent scattered showers, the forest ground fuels remain exceedingly dry.”

Since May 1, outside of the typical fire season, the Daniel Boone National Forest has experienced 13 wildfires. During this same time last year, only one wildfire incident occurred.

In Kentucky, the official fire hazard seasons run from Feb. 15 through April 30 and Oct. 1through Dec. 15. Wildfires in Kentucky rarely occur outside of these timeframes unless drought conditions are in progress.

According to Charles Greif, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson, Ky., portions of the state are more than 15 inches below normal rainfall since Nov. 1, 2006. Last month was documented as the driest month of May on record by a half inch.

At this time, the Daniel Boone National Forest is continuing to allow campfires in the forest.

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