Above, a wildfire burns a cypress prairie in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Kentucky forest fire hazard season officially begins on October 1, but counties across the state have been issuing burn bans.

Following several weeks of hot weather and little to no precipitation, Warren, Barren, Logan, Allen, Edmonson, Butler, Metcalfe and Monroe counties issued bans this week on all open burning.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet tweeted that at least 42 Kentucky counties had burn bans as of Wednesday.

Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon issued the burn ban in Warren County.

“We’re just going along with it,” said Marlee Boenig, spokeswoman for the Bowling Green Fire Department, who added that there haven’t been any drought-related fires in the city this month.

Mammoth Cave National Park also issued a burn ban. Park visitors are prohibited from lighting campfires or any other open flame, but camp stoves and grills are permitted. There are disposal areas for cigarettes near visitor facilities.

“Throwing a lit cigarette on the ground is not only a fire concern, it is also littering,” park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said.

Kentucky’s fall forest fire hazard season officially begins Oct. 1 and prohibits fires within 150 feet of any woodland or brush between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. But state officials are warning about fires now, as the Kentucky Division of Forestry has recently responded to at least six fires.

– Follow reporter Caroline Eggers on Twitter @eggersdailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

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