12:34pm

Tue August 9, 2011
The Commonwealth

Firefighters Come Home from North Carolina

A crew of 11 firefighters from the Kentucky Division of Forestry returned home from North Carolina over the weekend after a two-week assignment. The crew was assigned to the Juniper Road Fire complex as well as to surrounding fires in the southeastern part of the state. Although thunderstorms late last week helped suppression efforts, the fires continue to smolder and a significant rainfall is still needed.

The North Carolina crew was the last of four crews sent out of state under the Southeastern Interstate Forest Fire Compact — an agreement between 10 states to share wildland firefighters and equipment. Since mid-June, Kentucky has sent firefighters south to assist with fireline construction, burn-out and mop-up operations.

“Our crews were given high praise from North Carolina, Florida and Georgia for their efforts and level of experience,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry. “Although we are always happy to provide assistance to other states, with fall approaching, our firefighters will need to regroup and prepare for potential wildfires here at home.