No-burn ban

Frankfort firefighters watch as smoke rises during an instructional demonstration at the department's training facility on Kentucky Avenue Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells signed a no-burn order for the county. (Chanda Veno | State Journal)

With dry conditions persisting across the county, Judge-Executive Huston Wells issued a no-burn order on Tuesday.

On the advice of Franklin County Fire Chief Kevin Hutcherson, Wells signed the order banning outdoor burns for:

• Recreational or ceremonial purposes.

• Weed abatement and pest prevention.

• Instructional training for firefighters.

• Agricultural, silvicultural, range and wildlife management practices.

• Disposal of natural growth for land clearing and trees and limbs felled by storms.

“Firefighters say outdoor cooking smokers and grills are not covered under the ban, but they advise using common sense with them,” Wells added.

Franklin joins 72 other counties across the state that have issued no-burn bans, including neighboring Anderson, Fayette, Henry, Owen, Scott, Shelby and Woodford counties.

According to the National Weather Service in Louisville, Frankfort has received just 0.07 of an inch of rain all month — a huge departure from the 2.54 inches that the city averages for September. 

In fact, with five days to go, the city has a legitimate chance of earning runner-up honors for the driest September ever and cracking the top 10 driest months of all time. While the current record — a trace in September 1895 — can’t be caught, in 2010 Frankfort documented 0.32 of an inch of rainfall, making it the 10th driest.

NWS data shows October is historically one of the most parched months as far as rainfall. Four of the top 10 driest months on record were in October — 0.08 of an inch in 1963; 0.13 of an inch in 1924; 0.14 of an inch in 1938; and 0.31 of an inch in 1923.

The NWS forecast calls for sunny skies with high temperatures near 86 on Wednesday. A cold front will sweep through Wednesday night, bringing a 30% chance of showers and lows near 62. On Thursday, sunny skies will return with daytime high temps in the low 80s and overnight lows dropping into the upper 50s.

Hot temperatures will work their way back into the forecast and stick around a bit with highs around 90 Friday through Monday.

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