Work Continues To Assess Environmental Impact Of Bourbon Warehouse Fire

Jul 5, 2019

Dead fish are already being found in the Kentucky River.

Federal, state, and local officials continue to focus attention on reducing the environmental impact from the Jim Beam bourbon warehouse fire in Woodford County.  Work is also underway to clean up the still smoldering debris.

The environmental focus has been on adjacent Glenn Creek and the Kentucky River.  State Fish and Wildlife crews are counting dead fish.  Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Spokesman John Mura said aerators have been positioned in the creek and river to boost oxygen levels. “We are hopeful that the rains we’ve been having will alleviate the situation somewhat.  And we think that those will continue.  They’re in the forecast.  But, it’s really impossible to say the severity as it moves downstream and dilutes,” said Mura.

Mura noted a group of 40 officials meet daily to develop a “to do” list.

Woodford County Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler says excavation crews are working the rubble site, paying attention to hot spots.  Meanwhile, Chandler said they’ve seen visitors from nearby Castle and Key distillery. “Ordinarily they would have turned around after Castle and Key, but now they’re coming on down and we got a good laugh when the mini-bus came down the road and people hanging out the windows with their cameras, taking pictures of the debris pile,”  said Chandler.

The fire, which burned up some 45,000 barrels of distilled spirits, began Tuesday night.  Officials believe it was caused by a lightning strike.​

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