By Greg Bird
Monday’s rain brought a welcome respite to the hot and dry conditions McCreary County has been experiencing over the last month – bringing much needed moisture and cooler temperatures in its wake.
The local Mesonet weather recording system reports 1.65 inches of precipitation fell in northern Whitley City Monday – almost ten times as much that fell in a record-setting dry month of September.
The rain also brought an end to the local burn ban, put in effect earlier last month in response to the fire-favorable conditions that blanketed the region. Though the local ban is lifted, a federal burn ban is still in place during the designated Fire Hazard Season. According to KRS 149.400 it is still illegal to burn any brush or debris between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. anywhere within 150 feet of woodland or brushland. The ban is in effect from October 1 through December 15.
The National Forest Service reminds citizens that one day of rain can only mitigate forest fire risk for about three days. Even after a rain the risk is present as more leaves tend to fall following a rainfall, and wind can speed up drying of ground coverage and spread flames easier.