E. Ky. park remains closed due to wildfire


Associated Press

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 14 at 2:04 PM

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (AP) — State officials say a southeastern Kentucky park remains closed due to a wildfire.

Kentucky Department of Parks spokesman Gil Lawson told the Lexington Herald-Leader that park officials were hoping that rain would help control the blaze at Kingdome Come State Park, but none had arrived by midmorning on Monday. He said officials are hoping overcast skies will produce rain by later in the day.

Authorities decided on Sunday to close the park, which is located in Harlan and Letcher counties, due to heavy smoke.

So far, the blaze has burned about 200 acres.

WYMT-TV reports dozens of firefighters are working to contain the blaze that began Friday morning near the park.

"They were estimating that we would lose 100 acres. It did jump some fire lines, so now they're estimating we will lose 200 acres in the park," said Chris Early, of the Kentucky State Park Rangers.

Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill said weather conditions and the area's geography have helped the fire to spread.

"The temperatures we've had, as well as the conditions we've had these past couple of days. The smallest spark can get that going, and where this fire originated from, it was very overgrown, and so that is how it kind of went from there to just (spreading quickly)," he said.

"These guys are in very rough terrain fighting this fire. It's hot and the fire makes it that much hotter and they are giving it their all and we're going to be there to support them and appreciate everything they're doing."

There have been no reports of injuries or property damage from the blaze.