Bevin declares state emergency in response to Eastern Ky. wildfires

11/03/2016 03:47 PM

Gov Matt Bevin declared a state emergency Thursday as wildfires grow in the eastern portion of Kentucky.

“My primary concern is safety,” Bevin said in a news release. “By declaring a state emergency we are providing emergency resources to proactively respond to local needs. I thank all of the officials working hard to keep people safe.

“As dry conditions remain throughout Kentucky, we urge all citizens to use extreme caution during outdoor activities and refrain from outdoor burning.”

The Kentucky Division of Forestry is reporting 38 active fires through Kentucky. So far, the fires have burned 3,800 acres.

In Harlan County, officials are reporting five fires and they have requested air support for fire suppressant, according to a news release.

“Our crews have been fighting this battle for several days,” Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said in a statement. “Their assistance will expedite our efforts.”

The State Emergency Operations Center has also been activated by EMA in support of the Kentucky Division of Forestry in an effort to provide updates on the fires progress across wild land.

“It is imperative that we support our first responders as they combat wildfires throughout the state,” Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said in a statement. “By virtue of the executive order, allied state agencies are now able to provide resources that are beyond local government capabilities.”

There are no reports of injuries, evacuations or house fires associated with the wild fires.

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