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Wildfire burning in Kentucky’s Natural Bridge State Park

A wildfire in Estill County on Nov. 8, 2022.
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
A previouswildfire burning in Estill County.

More than 100 acres of forest has burned in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park and Nature Preserve in Slade, Kentucky.

Nearly 100 firefighters are battling a blaze at one of Kentucky’s most popular outdoor recreation areas. The Division of Forestry says the region's cliff lines and natural arches make for challenging conditions to control the fire.

“Hand crews with fire rakes have to construct containment lines while maneuvering in, around, and sometimes over cliffs,” State Forester Brandon Howard said.

Strong winds pushed the fire outside containment lines Tuesday. Firefighters will focus first on stopping the fire’s spread, before returning to extinguish any remaining smoldering materials.

All of the trails and most parking lots remain closed at The Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The Red River Gorge remains unaffected and open for all activities.

Threats from wildfires are typically higher from mid-February through April in Kentucky. As of Tuesday, at least 10 wildfires have occurred amid the spring forest fire hazard season.

Meteorologists predict dry conditions through Thursday before an approaching cold front moves in. For updates on park conditions, visit the state’s website.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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