- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The fall forest fire hazard season has ended in Kentucky, but state forestry officials are urging continued caution when doing outdoor burning.

State Division of Forestry Director Leah MacSwords says severe storms in recent years have increased the amount of dead and fallen trees. MacSwords says that’s a particular concern for fire-suppression efforts.

Forestry officials say timely precipitation this fall kept fire dangers low in the state.

Since Jan. 1, 1,399 fires have burned 40,251 acres across the state. Officials say arson continues to be the leading cause of wildfires in Kentucky, but many regions also showed an increase in debris fires.

Officials say there have been 900 arson-related wildfires this year in Kentucky, 305 debris fires and 194 wildfires due to lightning, faulty equipment and other causes.

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