Tribune-Courier General Manager
Officials involved in fighting Saturday’s blaze in Land Between the Lakes confirmed it was sparked when a hay cutter struck a rock and ignited a field fire nearby.
LBL Communications Specialist Nicole Hawk said the operator of the equipment tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire.
The fire quickly spread into woodland areas near the northern entrance of LBL near Nickell Branch. As much as 250 acres of woodland were burned. A final determination of acreage won’t be known until GPS tracking devices are used to measure the area.
U.S. Forestry officials arrived Saturday afternoon and decided to start a back burn to direct it toward Kentucky Lake. During that time a portion of the Trace was closed to traffic.
Campers in Nickell Branch were put on notice of a possible evacuation, and while some left voluntarily, none had to be told to leave the area.
Fire departments from Marshall County were on standby, but were never called into action. Departments from Burna, Grand Rivers, Smithland, Ledbetter and Kuttawa, along with Lyon County EMS and the Red Cross, were on the scene into the evening on Saturday.
Hawk said that while the fire was brought under control Saturday evening, portions of the Canal Loop Trail remained closed Monday morning due to hot spots.
She said Monday’s rain and cooler, damp weather will help to put out remaining fires .