HARLAN CO. Ky. (WYMT) – Who knew puddles along the side of the road could be such a good sight?
“It’s a great relief, obviously. We’ve been working for a month or a month and a half here. It’s just been fire after fire,” said Bell County Ranger, Lem Johnson.
The rain Monday night into Tuesday morning may not have fully put out all the fires in Eastern Kentucky but it provided a long-awaited sigh of relief.
“This was as bad of a situation as we’ve had in 15 years, from a forest fires perspective,” said Harlan County Judge/Executive, Dan Mosley.
Even with the rain, we may not be out of the woods just yet.
“A lot of that rain is just going to get soaked into the ground really fast. So it will dry out just as fast,” said Johnson.
More rain Wednesday morning could deal a serious blow to the fires, which have burned up more than 50,000 acres in Southeastern Kentucky alone, in just the last two months.
“We hope it’s a long time down the road before we deal with a situation like this again,” said Mosley.
For the first time in weeks, we can see the sunshine through the trees of our beautiful mountain skylines, free of smoke and ashes.
Forestry officials tell us there have been 377 fires in Southeastern Kentucky in the last two months and they are still calculating the costs associated with fighting those.
They expect the cost to be in the range of several million dollars.