Quick Takes

Wildfire at Natural Bridge state park spreads to more than 100 acres

By: - April 19, 2023 5:57 pm

Fire at Natural Bridge that closed trails has been contained. (Photo by Middlefork Fire/Rescue, Facebook)

State forestry officials say a wildfire at an Eastern Kentucky state park that was ignited on Monday has spread to more than 100 acres, the terrain of the area making it difficult to contain the blaze. 

A Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet release Wednesday stated a wildfire at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, which was limited at one point to just a few acres, had been pushed across containment lines because of high winds. Nearly 100 firefighters from local, state and federal agencies are working to contain the fire. 

“What makes Natural Bridge unique, namely its arches and cliff lines, also makes it extremely difficult to control wildfire,” said State Forester Brandon Howard in a statement. “Hand crews with fire rakes have to construct containment lines while maneuvering in, around, and sometimes over cliffs.” 

The release stated the fire had been pushed into a part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, though all activities remained open in the Red River Gorge area of the forest. The cause of the fire remained under investigation, according to the release, and all trails and almost all parking lots at Natural Bridge State Resort Park remained closed. 

Much of Central and Northern Kentucky is under a “red flag warning,” meaning that higher temperatures combined with low humidity and stronger winds have increased the likelihood of wildfires. 

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Liam Niemeyer
Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.