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Ky.gov An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Forestry
Advisories and Red Flag Warnings

Advisories and Drought Declarations
The potential for wildfire can occur any time of year, therefore, citizens should always be aware of fire weather conditions and outdoor burning restrictions in their area.  Drought conditions affect soil moisture and vegetative health and can be expected to increase the risk of wildfire.  Classifying drought severity uses multiple indicators including the Drought Monitor, Palmer Drought Index, Crop Moisture Index, and precipitation and streamflow measurements.  Link to the Drought Monitoring Center for current drought declarations for your county. 

County Burn Bans
County burn bans are issued by the county judge/executive.  To find out if your county has a restriction on outdoor burning, please click County Burn Bans


Red Flag Warnings


Red Flag WarningRed Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when fire weather conditions include:
relative humidity <= equal to 25 percent
fuel moisture <= 8 percent 
winds >= 15 mph

Link to the current RED FLAG WARNING by coverage area:


Charleston, West Virginia
Jackson, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Paducah, Kentucky
Wilmington, Ohio
Morristown, Tennessee 

Wildland Fire and Weather
LightningThe principal factors that greatly influence the start and spread of wildfires are weather, fuel and topography.  Of these three factors, weather is the most variable and impacts fire behavior most often.  The main weather factors that have an effect on fire behavior are temperature, wind and relative humidity.  Wind increases the rate and the direction of fire spread, while relative humidity and temperature mainly affect fuel moisture.  Changes in the weather, such as an approaching cold front, can also greatly affect wind speed, wind direction, air temperature and relative humidity, which in turn can greatly affect wildfire behavior.  The following links will help you stay aware of current fire weather in your area:  

Jackson Fire Weather 
Louisville Fire Weather
Paducah Fire Weather
National Weather Service Fire Weather

Back to Wildland Fire Management main page