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Kentucky Executive Order 2023-704




Secretary of State
Frankfort Kentucky

November 9, 2023

Beginning on November 3, 2023, and continuing, drought conditions intensified across the Commonwealth, resulting in increased threats of wildfires. Wildfires are now active across the Commonwealth, with numerous uncontrolled wildfires in eastern Kentucky. Long-range weather forecasts predict a statewide potential for additional fires with threats of major impacts to health and safety of citizens, infrastructure, governmental properties, local economies, and private properties;

These conditions endanger public health and safety and public and private property;

State and local governments share responsibility for protection of public health, safety, and security, as well as for the protection of public and private property and for taking appropriate actions to ensure the provision of essential public services;

Harlan County, Kentucky and Letcher County, Kentucky have declared local states or emergency related to the wildfires and threat of wildfires; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andy Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of Kentucky and by KRS Chapter 39A do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and do hereby Order and Direct that:

  1. The Division of Emergency Management within the Department of Military Affairs shall execute the Kentucky Emergency Operations Plan and, from the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center, shall coordinate the response and relief activities of all state agencies and private relief organizations in response to this emergency.
  2. The Adjutant General is authorized to issue active duty orders for the mobilization of such National Guard personnel and equipment as he may determine to protect life and safety, to continue essential public services and to prevent undue loss and suffering.
  3. All state agencies shall coordinate any and all public and emergency information and/or activities/releases related to this emergency and the response efforts of state agencies with the Division of Emergency Management.
  4. All state agencies shall provide sufficient personnel required for the staffing of the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center or other command, control, and coordination points as may be designated by the Division of Emergency Management's Director and shall provide such personnel, vehicles, equipment, and other resources needed to protect life and property and to ensure continuation, restoration and recovery of essential public services.
  5. The Finance and Administration Cabinet is directed to provide assistance with incident/disaster resource management, procurements and contracting and to fund the urgent operations and/or response of the Division of Emergency Management and the unbudgeted expenditures and obligations of other state agencies that are incurred in response to and recovery from this emergency incident and in executing the provisions of this Executive Order.
  6. The Division of Emergency Management is authorized to request assistance, including such federal, state, local, private sector, volunteer, and donated resources as may be available, to minimize human suffering and to restore essential services to the general population and to assist state and local governments and individuals impacted by this emergency.
  7. The Division of Emergency Management shall consult with the American National Red Cross and local officials to determine the need for emergency shelters for displaced families and shall coordinate with local government, school boards, and other organizations to determine the availability of schools and other facilities to be used as shelters during this emergency.
  8. Transportation on and access to any and all public roadways in the affected area may be restricted or prohibited in the interest of public health and safety.

This order shall be effective November 9, 2023.

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Secretary of State

Last updated: Friday, November 10, 2023