Burn Ban Remains In Effect
Darren Doyle, story:
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Office of the State Climatologist, in coordination with the Kentucky drought mitigation team, have issued a Level 2 drought declaration for 78 counties and a Level 1 declaration for 42 counties. Edmonson County is listed in the drought 2 declaration.
According to the KY Association of Mitigation Managers, or KAMM, A Level 2 drought declaration could lead to substantial agricultural losses, diminished stream flows in small streams and rivers and increases in the occurrence of wildfires. If drought conditions persist, it is expected that some water utilities will have difficulties treating water and may begin issuing conservation advisories or implementing water-use restrictions due to limited water supplies.
"The Commonwealth has been experiencing unprecedented dryness, with most locations recording little to no precipitation during the month of September," said KAMM officials in a statement. "This lack of precipitation, combined with record heat, has led to rapidly deteriorating conditions."
According to KAMM, public water supplies are not seriously affected at this time, but persistent drought conditions will increase the risk of water shortage conditions, especially for those systems relying on small lakes, small headwater streams and wells located in drought-vulnerable aquifers. Low water levels in lakes can also lead to water quality issues that could present treatment challenges for utilities.
KDOW continues to monitor all the state’s water systems and their sources of supply, including notifying the public of any changes that may lead to water shortages. The hot, dry conditions have had a serious impact on agricultural interests, especially when it comes to cattle production. Severely diminished pasture conditions have led to limited fall grazing, and in turn, forced many producers to feed winter hay well ahead of schedule. Numerous county agents are reporting hay yields cut in half, while moisture availability has put a halt to pasture renovations.
Matt Dixon, with the UK Ag Weather Center, said data at the weather center showed the state averaged only 0.28 inches of rain during the month. The forecast shows relief from the record heat beginning later this week, but the long-term outlooks indicates below-normal precipitation for the next 30 days.
The Kentucky Drought Mitigation and Response Plan defines a tiered approach to classifying drought severity using multiple indicators to assess the intensity and location of a developing drought. These indicators include the Drought Monitor, Palmer Drought Index, Crop Moisture Index, and precipitation and streamflow measurements.
A countywide burn ban was issued on September 17, 2019 by Judge Executive Wil Cannon. The ban prohibits all open burning outdoors, period. This includes fire pits and charcoal grills. There has been no significant rainfall in the county for several weeks and above normal temps have increased the dry conditions.
More information about drought declaration criteria can be found in the Kentucky Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.