MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -- The ongoing drought from southwest Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico is contributing to wildfire blazes stretching from Kentucky to the Carolinas.
Indiana DNR fire coordinator Darren Bridges says three fire operations support members were dispatched just over a week ago.
"We have one in North Carolina. We have one in Georgia and also one in Tennessee,” Bridges says. One is a dispatcher, one is a fire behavior analyst and one is a division supervisor.
Bridges says it’s difficult to send a full 20-member Hoosier wildland firefighting crew out of state – when they might be needed at home.
“We are looking at the possibility of sending a 10-person module. Because they’re needing all the help they can get as quick as they can,” Bridges says.
County commissioners in six southwest Indiana counties – Pike, Dubois, Crawford, Vanderburgh, Warrick and Spencer – have ordered fire bans because of dry conditions. Bridges says other resources are being kept on hand to help protect partner properties – the Indiana Dunes, Hoosier National Forest and Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge.
“We can’t send everybody out, when Indiana’s obviously got their burn season ahead of them also,” Bridges says.