Kentucky Brush Fire Smoke Blankets Tennessee Counties
ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Several counties in Tennessee are covered with a blanket of smoke this afternoon. The smoke is blowing in from a rather large brush fire in Kentucky.
“It’s a very large woodland fire up in Kentucky close to the state line,” according to Robertson County Emergency Management Agency Director R.L. Douglas. “The winds happen to be blowing smoke towards the state of Tennessee, blowing it down into Robertson, Sumner and Montgomery county.
“Until they can contain it in Kentucky we will not be able to do anything but live through it down here. If you have asthma or respiratory medical problems you’ll probably need to stay indoors. It’s not as thick in some places in the county as it is others but to be on the safe side, if you have respiratory or breathing issues, you probably should stay inside until the wind blows it out.”
The Portland Fire Department released the following statement on their FB page this afternoon.
“Emergency Crews throughout Sumner County have been out for the last few hours investigating reports of smoke across the county. We have been in touch with several agencies in surrounding counties who are experiencing the same phenomenon. The National Weather Service has advised us they believe the smoke is being pushed into our area from wild-land fires in Kentucky.
“Dispatch centers are being inundated with calls regarding the smoke so we ask that citizens be mindful of the situation when calling to report fires.” This is the information from the Sumner County EMA. If you have respiratory problems please use extreme caution when outdoors as the air quality is decreased.”
On November 9th 0ur region was placed under a burn ban. Commissioner Jai Templeton of Tennessee Department of Agriculture has issued a ban on open air burning. The ban went into effect last Wednesday.
The state forester and Commissioner of Agriculture, in authority to issue burn bans under certain weather conditions has issued a burn ban for Robertson County prohibiting all open air fire within the county due to dry conditions vulnerable to fires that may leap out of control.
Violation of the ban is considered reckless burning and classified as a Class-A misdemeanor.
The ban applies to all open-air burning including construction burning, leaf and woody debris and campfires, outdoor grills and other fire activity in areas outside of municipalities where local ordinances apply.
“Due to dry conditions and little prospect for rain, firefighters are seeing an increase in fire activity across the state,” Commissioner Templeton said. “The public should use good judgment and avoid situations that cause fire and put citizens, property and emergency workers at risk.”
According to Jai Templeton, Commissioner of Agriculture, State of Tennessee, in a release, “With my signature I hereby declare a ban on open air burning in the following county in the State of Tennessee: ROBERTSON”
A violation of a burn ban issued by the Commissioner is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.
Examples of prohibited fires or burning:
• leaves • brush • fence rows • ditch banks • construction debris • boards, plywood, decking, etc. • fields • gardens • wooded areas • grassland • campfires • cooking fires • grills, charcoal or wood fired (but not natural or propane gas fired) • burn barrels • household waste • cardboard • air curtain destructors
Campgrounds that are administered by State or Federal Government may impose their own limits on campfires and cooking fires within their property.
This Declaration of a Ban on Open Air Burning shall remain in effect until rescinded by signature of the Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
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