Firefighters fear dry conditons and campfires could create problems
MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. — The low number of fire calls over the Memorial Day weekend surprised at least one fire department near Kentucky Lake. The Aurora-Ross Fire Department didn't receive any and the chief there was ready for more than average because of the very dry conditions.
"We are nine inches below the annual precipitation. It is very dry and drying out as time goes on," said fire chief Ricky Sirls.
He added that out-of-town visitors might not have known most of the area is in a moderate to severe drought but he hoped they would notice the very dry wood and grass surrounding each fire pit at Kentucky Lake.
"You definitely don't want to build a fire on a very windy day," Sirls said. "Keep the area clear all the way around it. Advise children and such stay three to five feet away from it in case they trip and fall. It's a lot of common sense stuff."
Travis Vires traveled from Montgomery, Alabama, with his family to camp at the park. He wasn't aware of the drought but did notice fewer people lighting campfires.
"People for whatever reason this weekend seemed to be pretty safe," he said. "We were here last year and it was a little wild and woolly, but this weekend wasn't as bad."
He and Sirls agreed the hot weather may have actually helped keep the number of fires down. Some people may not have wanted to add any extra heat to their campsite.
Crittenden County issued a burn ban before the holiday weekend began but Sirls said Marshall County could issue one of its own this week if it doesn't rain.