Thousands of Fish Die After Whiskey Fire Turns Kentucky River Alcoholic

(TMU) — Thousands of fish are dead in the Kentucky River after a fire destroyed a Jim Beam bourbon warehouse last week.

Located in Versailles, Kentucky, the warehouse caught fire around 11:30 p.m Tuesday night and destroyed approximately 45,000 barrels of bourbon.

A 23-mile-long alcohol plume seeped into the waterway in the aftermath of the blaze and has resulted in the demise of the aquatic life in the area.

The plume is expected to reach the Ohio River on Monday, according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. They expect the plume to dissipate quickly at it enters larger body of water but warn there could be some impact to aquatic life where the two rivers meet.

Residents have reported seeing dead and dying fish, as well as smelling the odor of dead fish for miles. They were warned not to consume fish that are already dead and to exercise discretion when catching fish that seem to be in distress.

State environmental officials anticipated the contamination and attempted to mitigate the damage by setting up a containment system at the warehouse to help prevent runoff into waterways and nearby drinking water. Officials also aerated the river in an attempt to increase the low dissolved oxygen levels in the water and protect wildlife.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is continuing to assess wildlife and fish kill count. Results are pending.

Here is Sunday's update on the Jim Beam fire and fishkill in the Kentucky River:1) The alcohol plume on the Kentucky…

Posted by Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet on Sunday, July 7, 2019

By S.M. Gibson | Creative Commons |

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