Estill Co. wildfires create smoky smell in Lexington, Fayette Co.


Rayleigh Deaton, Editor-in-Chief

Wildfires in Estill County have created a haze and smell of smoke in Fayette County as wind pushes the smoke to the western part of the state.

The fire began as a brush fire near Pitts Road, according to reporting from WKYT, and a State of Emergency has since been declared in Estill County.

According to WKYT, the wildfires were started by a single cigarette.

Estill County is located 45 miles from the University of Kentucky campus. According to a Facebook post from the Lexington Fire Department, Fayette County is currently under an open burning ban as a result of elevated risk of fire danger, low rainfall amounts, high winds and low humidity.

As of Wednesday, the ban will last until 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, as rainfall is expected to arrive Thursday, but it may be extended if dangerous conditions continue.

“Residents should avoid setting any fire outdoors until after the ban expires. This includes refuse, cooking, and construction debris fires. All open burn permits are suspended for the duration of the ban. The ban applies to all residents and businesses in Fayette County, including those in rural and urban areas,” the post says.

A post from the US National Weather Service in Jackson, Kentucky, says, “The combination of very low relative humidity and dry fuels, and southeast wind gusts of between 10 and 15 mph at times, will bring an increased … high risk of wildfires today.”

According to the Estill County Fire Department, the fire has burned an estimated 300-500 acres of land in the Pitts and Betsey Ridge areas. Citizens are instructed to avoid the area to allow crews to do their job.

The Lexington Fire Department encourages residents to report fires by calling 911 in emergency situations and 859-231-5600 in non-emergent situations.