EDGEWOOD, Ky. — Though rain developed later in the night, high winds gave fire crews some challenges as they battled two brush fires in Northern Kentucky Wednesday afternoon.
A rare Red Flag Warning extended through most of the Tri-State Wednesday after the National Weather Service said winds ranging from 15 to 30 mph could gust up to 50 mph, leading to downed trees or power outages. Those winds can also lead to rapidly spreading fire like the one crews fought on Dudley Road in Edgewood.
Police and fire responded to the 900 block of Dudley Road at around 2:15 p.m. for a call of wires down. Fire Chief Tom Dickman said they began receiving additional calls for fire and smoke in the area while en route.
Firefighters had to wait for Duke Energy to arrive and shut off power before they could put water on the flames. As they waited, fire quickly spread.
"(We) wanted to make sure that we had far enough distance from where the lines were down, unsure of if they were still live or not," Dickman said. "We wanted to start up some type of barrier between the home and the fire. Prevent any spread to that home."
Sam Kamath owned the home next to the downed lines.
"I heard a loud explosion, came out and looked," Kamath said. "Power flickered a couple times, smelled smoke."
Kamath said he got out of the house safely. For several hours, he watched as the fire got within feet of his home.
"Hopefully the embers don't catch the house on fire," Kamath said. "That's going through my mind more than anything. A little ember on the roof, a good wind and it all goes up in flames."
While he said he's relieved his house was spared from any damage, he cannot say the same for his backyard.
In Union, fire crews dealt with the same issue as high winds impacted a brush fire at Potter's Ranch. Firefighters left after they contained the fire, but hotspots rekindled the fire, causing another challenge.
Fire officials said training for high wind situations is difficult, but crews are adapting and moving forward.
"It's part of what we do," Dickman said. "It's not something necessarily we train on, it's just part of our suppression and training activities we go through."