Wildfire at Natural Bridge in Kentucky


Wildfire at Natural Bridge in Slade in Powell County.(photo from WKYT News)

Carley Stone, Staff Writer

The Natural Bridge in Kentucky.

On April 25, 2023, a wildfire started at Natural Bridge State Park in Powell County Kentucky. Natural Bridge is a beautiful tourist attraction. Just a couple of months ago I went there to hike with my friends and it was wonderful. “Known for the massive stone arch that gave it its name, Natural Bridge State Resort Park is located in Powell and Wolfe counties and is a popular site for hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.” According to WYMT News, the iconic natural bridge, rivers, trails, and abundant nature attracts thousands of people each year. In a year between about 300,000 to 400,000 people visit, but just a couple weeks ago a fire broke out and burned 125 acres of beautiful land in just one week. A lot of the grass/plants where the hiking trail is located have been scorched and turned black. The good news is, nothing majorly important was burned in the fire, just greenery. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Michael Froelich, the fire management chief for the Kentucky Division of Forestry, thinks the blaze was started by arson (the criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property). Lexington Herald gives a statistic stating that between 2010 and 2019, over ten thousand wildfires were recorded in the state, but nearly sixty-five percent of them were started by arson and only about twenty-two were caused by debris burning. Froelich said, “We are still doing an investigation on suspects if we can find any.”

Fire beside a hiking trail at Natural Bridge.

 According to WYMT News, officials confirmed Monday that fire firefighters were able to stop the fire. Lucas Aulbach, at Louisville Courier-Journal, says they used the help of a helicopter capable of dumping six hundred gallons of water. According to Cinncinati.com, “responders with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Daniel Boone National Forest, and local fire departments worked together to contain the burn and clean up the site. A red flag warning, which indicates a heightened risk of fire danger, was in place in the area Thursday.” Now the Natural Bridge Park is back and running. If it was arson, hopefully, it won’t happen again.