Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Forest Service can spare only one Ky. firefighter to help California

The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - With Ken-tucky's forest fire season in progress, only one firefighter from the U.S. Forest Service can be spared to aid others battling blazes in California.

Timber, Wildlife and Fire Staff Officer Rex Mann, of Mount Sterling, was to depart Tuesday night for California, where he will serve as an area commander. In Kentucky, Mann is assigned to the Daniel Boone National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service in Winchester.

However, the Kentucky Division of Forestry says it can't spare any firefighters.

"We are actually short on resources this year because of the budget," said Gwen Holt, a spokeswoman for state forestry. "They haven't requested any help and we can't afford to send them at this point."

Kentucky's fire season began Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 15. There were 28 fires Saturday and warming temperatures were expected to make the coming weekend a difficult one for those who fight fires on private lands, Holt said.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 744 fires that have scorched 15,660 acres, Holt said. The largest fire this season was a 1,000-acre blaze Friday and Saturday at the Big South Fork National Recreation area in Tennessee near the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

"That fire was started by a snag falling over a power line," said Kathleen Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.

More than 10,000 firefighters are currently battling some of the most deadly wildfires in California history.

At least 17 deaths were blamed on the fires, 15 in southern California and two in Mexico, as separate blazes scattered along an arc from the suburbs northwest of Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico. More than 1,500 homes have been destroyed.

United Way behind goals
Fernald silo cleanup drags on
A manatee migration with a twist
Heart hospital has new suitor

Movie house pictured at mall
Gay rights ordinance may be reconsidered by council
People, places and things
Death raises fears on road
City's housing authority sues feds
Pediatric doctor a 1st for rheumatology award
Terror tactics tackled in drill
Woman spared jail in cyclist's death
Fire hits Ivy Hills golf building
Kings school candidates debate
British exchange program canceled
Mason, Deerfield make nice
Mystery speaker to dedicate memorial
East End school step closer
Regional Report
Candidate in court over sign
Parent protests 'sweatbox'

Bronson: This time, the accused rapist was the real victim
Korte: Cranley lashes back at GOP critics
Howard: Good Things Happening

Sr. Loretta Ann Bruewer, 97, was retired principal
Paul C. Beckman, longtime lawyer
Kentucky obituaries

Appeals court upholds death sentence in killing of woman
Ohio Moments

Hearing reveals brutal details of woman's slaying, mutilation
Barge wreck on Ohio investigated
Grayson gets help from the president
'Thump' plays a bucketful of music
Forest Service can spare only one Ky. firefighter