The effects of the tornado outbreak on December 10, 2021 have been felt well into 2022. Eastern Kentucky was devastated this summer by catastrophic flooding. And now that same region is dealing with wildfires.


It's been a very rough year, and the weather has not been an ally. Needless to say, Kentucky Emergency Management has been a very busy organization. Here's what they're telling us about the fires:

The Kentucky Division of Forestry has responded to nearly 40 wildfires across the Commonwealth, with the largest fires located in Harlan, Pike, Letcher, Knox, and Bell counties.  In addition to the Division of Forestry, firefighting efforts are being conducted by the Kentucky National Guard, local fire departments, and volunteer firefighters from across Kentucky.  No serious injuries, deaths, evacuations, or threats to residences have been reported at this time.

Several counties--Breathitt, Floyd, Estill, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Owsley, Rockcastle, Whitley and Wolfe--have reported wildfires. And in Rockcastle County, smoke is nearly blocking out the sun:

Here are some aerial shots of the fires in Perry County KY:

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In Estill County, a state of emergency has been declared:


That's where firefighters have begun employing a fascinating technique to keep homes and businesses safe from the blaze. They're creating what are known as "fire lines"--areas that are cleared of dried vegetation. Essentially, they are borders that fires cannot cross.

I'm gathering this is a common exercise only because it makes so much sense, but as a layman, I am enthralled.

Another approach is the utilization of leaf blowers. At first I thought that would just create unwanted windy conditions, but I was wrong. And once again, I am--no pun intended--blown away by how clever firefighting techniques can be.

We wish all those battling these fires success and safety, but there may be relief in sight thanks to Mother Nature. In light of the events of this summer, it's weird to note how badly eastern Kentucky now NEEDS rain, but it looks like remnants of Hurricane Nicole might provide just that.

And then we can all put 2022 in the rear view mirror and look forward to better days ahead in 2023.


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