Each year, members of the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s wildland firefighter team volunteer to fight fires in various parts of the U.S., outside of Kentucky’s fire seasons, when wildfires overwhelm local resources. Recently, 23 firefighters deployed to Texas to assist with wildfire suppression.
Most records that exist about the Hellbender’s whereabouts in Kentucky are from accidental captures by anglers or field biologists. When scientists conducted a statewide survey in 2011 to determine where these large salamanders live, very few were found.
But most biologists agree: Populations of this elusive amphibian are in danger.
The Division of Mine Safety currently has 55 mine rescue team members that provide support to underground coal mines and rock quarries.