Wildfire Hazard Resources


Kentucky Division of Forestry Technical Assistance

The Kentucky Division of Forestry provides urban forestry technical assistance to municipalities, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and private landowners.  The focus of the urban forestry program is to help communities develop long-term, self-sustaining urban forestry programs.  Urban and community forestry is an increasingly familiar term in our large cities and small rural towns. Urban forests are the trees outside our front doors.  

More than one-half of Kentuckians live in or near and urban setting. 

The division also assists with tree board formation and support, the development of tree ordinances, Arbor Day planning and Tree City USA technical support and application assistance.  Through these efforts, the program creates healthier, more livable environments in our cities and towns across Kentucky.

For more information about what your community can do to develop or improve its urban forestry program, contact Bridget Abernathy, urban forestry partnership coordinator.

Learn more about Urban Forestry, link here


Firewise Your Home and Community

Kentucky Firewise logo

To learn how to “Firewise” your home and community and how to establish a Firewise Council visit the National Firewise Web site or contact the Division’s Firewise Program Coordinator, Kessley Baker.

graphic of a firewise home

Prevent Foodborne Illness After Wildfires

Fires are serious threats to life and property.  Four main factors can impact food exposed to fire:

  1. The heat of the fire
  2. Smoke fumes
  3. Chemicals used to fight the fire
  4. Power outages affecting refrigeration

Though foods may appear fine after being near a fire, they can be unsafe and endanger your health.

  • Bacteria can contaminate foods exposed to flames or smoke fumes.
  • Chemical fumes can penetrate through packaging such as canned goods, jars and plastic.
  • If refrigerators or freezers aren’t sealed airtight, food can spoil.
  • Firefighting chemicals are poisonous and can harm foods.

Know what steps to take that help protect you and your family from foodborne illness during an evacuation and after a wildfire.


Protecting Your Home

Do you live in or near a forest?  If you do, then you live in the wildland urban interface and your home has an increased risk of being destroyed by wildland fire.

There are many simple steps you can take to reduce the wildfire risk to your property.  Please refer to the following fact sheets for detailed information about Firewise practices that could save your home:

This assessment guide will help you determine if your home is Firewise:

Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Woodland Home Wildfire Hazard Assessment 



Protecting Your Community

Kentucky’s Firewise program is a unique opportunity available to Kentucky’s fire-prone communities.  The program adapts especially well to small communities, developments and residential associations of all types. 

Please refer to the following guides for information about defensible space, Firewise landscaping, vehicular access, controlling open burning, community action planning and much more:

A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) enables a community to plan in advance for the possibility of a community threatening wildfire.  The CWPP helps to empower communities to organize, plan, educate and take action on wildfire issues that impact community safety.  



Mitigation Guidance

FEMA, USFA Release Wildland Urban Interface Report

June 2022

FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration released the “Wildland Urban Interface: A Look at Issues and Resolutions,” report.  The report raises awareness and initiates collaborative efforts to facilitate change in wake of catastrophic wildfire losses in the wildland urban interface.  This report highlights the wildland interface issues in the United States and will help the wildland and structural firefighting community and neighborhoods unite around key actions to reduce risk to themselves, to firefighters and the environment.

Wildfires are among the worst natural and man-made disasters facing our nation.  Factors such as climate change and reduced land management practices are significantly contributing to the cause, increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires.

Federal agencies are working with partners to address many of the wildland interface challenges discussed in this report.  These efforts include:

  • Increasing forest and rangeland resiliency through prescribed burning and mechanical thinning.
  • Strengthening communication strategies and engagement operations through wildfire prevention and mitigation programs.
  • Proactively planning for and mitigating the continued effects of climate change.
  • Other high-priority areas in the report are also focused on firefighter health and safety, especially mental and behavioral health and public safety through improving evacuation procedures with efforts such as Reverse 911.

Link to the Wildland Urban Interface: A Look at Issues and Resolutions,”

To help prepare yourself and your family for wildfires, visit Ready.gov/wildfires.

FEMA Announces New Wildfire Aid

July 2019

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds are now available to support wildfire recovery and implement mitigation projects absent a major disaster declaration. 

This new post fire program, titled HMGP Post Fire, is part of the agency’s implementation of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) of 2018. Section 1204 of the DRRA amended Sections 404 and Section 420 of the Stafford Act, and allows FEMA to provide HMGP Post Fire assistance to any area that received a Fire Management Assistance grant (FMAG) declaration under Section 420 on or after October 5, 2018.  In recent fiscal years, HMGP funds were provided for these post-fire events on a temporary basis; the amended Section 404 (and 420) now permits permanent funding under HMGP.

FEMA encourages the mitigation of wildfire and related hazards, such as flood or erosion.  The amount of funding available to recipients will be determined by the type of hazard mitigation plan, i.e., standard or enhanced, approved for each state, territory, or tribe, and the number of FMAG declarations recipients receive during a fiscal year (Oct 1-Sept 30).  Project funding is prioritized based on project type and location.

Read more about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Post Fire Program.

Flood Risks Increase After Fires

November 18, 2020

Flood After Fire Fact Sheet

Wildfires can dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions after a devastating event.  It can leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions ripe for flash flooding and mudflow.  The Flood After Fire Fact Sheet provides information on how to reduce the risk by preparing now, buying flood insurance and planning ahead.

Link to the Flood After Fire Fact Sheet.



Wildland Fire Resource Links

Link to a complete list of Forestry Publications

Other Resources

Daniel Boone National Forest – Fire Management

Fire Danger Class Map

Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center

Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council

National Fire Protection Association

National Interagency Fire Center 

National Weather Service Fire Weather

National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Southern Wildfire Prevention

USDA Fire and Aviation

Wildland Fire Assessment System