USDA Daniel Boone National Forest Service issues fire restrictions amid drought in eastern Kentucky

November 17, 2023

The US Department of Agriculture and Forest Service announced an emergency order Thursday temporarily restricting campfires throughout the Daniel Boone National Forest.

The order is aimed at preventing wildfires and reducing the fire risk according to the Assistant Fire Management Officer Ryle Benke.

"Here on the Forest, and especially in popular areas like the Red River Gorge, wildfires are often the result of abandoned campfires," Benke said.

The emergency order prohibits igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire outside of a developed recreation area. Within developed campgrounds and picnic areas, campfires are permitted as long as they are inside Forest Service-installed metal fire rings and pedestal grills.

Anyone igniting and maintaining campfires within developed recreation sites should use caution and make sure that all campfires are fully extinguished before leaving their site. Campfires should not be left unattended.

Portable lanterns and stoves that use pressurized gas or liquid fuel and have a shutoff valve remain permitted across the Forest.

"Preventing wildfire starts is the easiest way to protect the Forest as well as our neighboring communities," said Benke.