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April 3, 2014

No Burn Season: Firefighters battle multiple brush fires Monday

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — London residents on Old Way Road started a fire on Monday afternoon that nearly burned down three houses and one tool shed.

A family living off Old Way Road decided to burn the majority of their trash on a sunny, windy and ultimately dry Monday afternoon. Neighbors reported hearing an explosion from the fire before seeing a fire in a nearby field.

It spread quickly but both the Laurel County and Bush Volunteer Fire Departments were able to subdue the blaze to nothing more than a charred field.

On the same afternoon, the East Bernstadt Fire Department as well as the McWhorter Fire Department responded to reports of a brush fire in the areas northeast of London off New Salem Road as well as Hwy. 1394 near East Bernstadt.

Needless to say, it was a busy afternoon for our local fire departments.

While farmers usually burn fields in preparation for the next cycle of crops — called agricultural or controlled burning — the Commonwealth of Kentucky is currently in the midst of a burn ban from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Despite heavy rains throughout the year, Kentucky maintains two ‘fire seasons” every year in which persons are not permitted to burn. The state is currently under the spring fire season, which runs from Feb. 15 to April 30. The fall ‘no burn’ season stretches from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15.

According to Trevor Allen of the Laurel County Fire Department, however, the burning of trash is not allowed under any circumstances.

“It’s always a beautiful, sunny afternoon — usually around 2 or 3 p.m. — and people just decide to burn their trash,” Allen said. “A gust of wind is all it takes for someone to almost burn down their house.”

Amey Pennington with the East Bernstadt Volunteer Fire Department echoed Allen’s sentiments.

“You are never supposed to burn your trash at any time of day,” she said. “When you do burn, it is only supposed to be wood, twigs, and things like that.”

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The 1971 T.C. Williams football team became famous thanks to the movie, “Remember the Titans.” Three of the original players will speak at this year’s North Laurel Football Banquet.

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