By Eric Pilgrim | Fort Knox NewsOctober 3, 2019
Coming off the heels of arguably the wettest year in recorded history, central Kentuckians are now enduring some of the hottest, driest weather.
Amid this drought, some people unfamiliar with the concerns those from a drier climate experience may not fully realize how dangerous such conditions can be, according to fire officials.
"It's a growing concern," said Jason Lewis, deputy fire chief, Fort Knox Fire Department. "Right now, the conditions are pretty extreme."
Lewis explained that two weekends ago, Fort Knox firefighters were called to the scene of a brush fire to provide mutual aid. They had just come off the range from putting out a brush fire when the other call came in.
"Many of the counties in both Kentucky and Indiana have been issuing burn bans with ordinances and fees that apply," said Lewis. "Everything is just so dry right now; it's not taking anything to ignite a fire -- just a spark, really."
He and Fort Knox Safety officials are reminding folks to exercise caution when traveling around, or even parking.
"People oftentimes don't think about parking on lawns or grass," said Lewis. "The heat from an exhaust can also ignite [dry vegetation]. We've seen that happen."
Wendy Steinhoff, a safety officer at Garrison Safety, said conditions have been unusually dry for the area during this time of year.
Louisville meteorologists have called the month of September one of the hottest in recorded history for the area, with temperatures that averaged 7.6 degrees above normal. ClimateSpy.com posted 82-degree average temperatures for the month; the previous recorded high was 77.5 degrees.
Until the drier weather relents to some precipitation, according to Lewis and Steinhoff, everyone needs to take extra precautions and be aware of potentially hazardous areas.
"It's looking like Friday is expecting to cool down," said Steinhoff.
"We're hoping and praying," said Lewis, "and doing a little rain dance that the rain they're calling for on Sunday and Monday comes in."