Image: YouTube

Whiskey Warehouse Fire Killed Thousands Of Fish

‘Drink like a fish’ has its limits

Bourbon and water don’t mix. At least, they didn’t when a Jim Beam bourbon warehouse burned down. The fire killed thousands of fish in the Kentucky River.

The Kentucky River is now full of dead fish as a result of the fire that burned 45,000 barrels of whiskey.

Massive amounts of fish dying off and a major loss of whiskey are bad enough on their own; it’s even more tragic they happened during the same event.

That’s a lot of whiskey Cokes gone

What exactly caused all this damage in the first place? A lightning strike.

The fire may be out but that doesn’t mean the damage is over.

The runoff from the warehouse will continue to pollute waterways and drinking water sources, according to spokesman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, John Mura.

Fish will continue to die as the plume from the warehouse moves downstream, toward the Ohio River.

The plume will slowly dissipate as it travels, making it less destructive. It’s estimated to be 24 miles long and is moving at 0.6 mph, so it won’t happen overnight.

Image via Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

It reached the Ohio River earlier this week, which helped dilute it to safe levels.

Bacteria REALLY like whiskey

Such a high number of dead fish make it sound like it’s the alcohol itself killing the fish. It’s actually what’s feeding on the alcohol that’s playing a big factor in the fish deaths.

“The bacteria in the water is going after the food source, which is the sugar in the alcohol and so they deplete the oxygen,” said Robert Francis, manager of the state’s emergency response team.

“The fish start to become distressed, and they eventually die.”

Barges are being used to aerate the water to increase the oxygen content.

“We’ve had several occur in this state, so when this one occurred, we were just ready for it and knew what the actions were to take,” Francis continued.

Not over yet

Beam Suntory, the Jim Beam parent company, said they were focused on minimizing environmental impacts in a statement.

“We are conducting water sampling and water field screening to get real-time results of water quality on the river, as part of a coordinated effort,” the statement read.

It’s still unclear exactly how many fish died from the runoff.

“People using the Kentucky River in the area of the plume will likely see and smell dead fish,” according to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
On Key

Related Posts

Close up of a fisherman catching fish

7 Fishing Ideas and Tips For When You Don’t Have Gear

When the urge to fish strikes, will you be ready? That sounds like quite an absolute statement, of course, but it’s important to have the know-how necessary to turn an everyday item into a piece of fishing equipment if necessary. After all, fishing isn’t just a hobby but a skill that you can use as

A fly fisherman fishing in a river

Fly Fishing Creeks and Streams

The Perfect Marriage Of Fishing And Hiking Our resources of time and money are finite.  Many of us well-rounded outdoor fanatics enjoy a variety of activities so we have to pick and choose. If we were able to combine what we love, capture their benefits, and still have time for the rest of lives, many

Family Camping Fun

How to Make the Most of Your Camping Trip

Camping is one of the most rewarding activities that you can engage in. Not only can you connect with nature on a deeper level, but you can also become closer to people you are traveling with. However, having a perfect camping trip requires a lot of careful planning and commitment. In order to help you

Scroll to Top

join the Outdoors360 Federation

Subscribe now