Montgomery County Commissioner issues no burn advisory

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – A Montgomery County official is calling on the community to stop burning trash and brush in their yards.

Montgomery County Commission Vice Chairman Reed Ingram is hoping to extinguish an increase in brush fires throughout the county.

Some volunteer fire departments say their calls have more than doubled, and with this dry weather, the problem is spreading.

"We've had seven calls so far in the month of September, since Sunday actually," said Marion Ellis.

Ellis is the Lt. Public Relations Chair for the South Montgomery County Fire Department.

She says most of those brush fires started as harmless backyard burns.

"People just get out, start burning, and then walk off and leave it," she said.

It's the reason Commissioner Reed Ingram issued a no burn advisory for Montgomery County.

Assistant Chief Robert Meadows hopes folks will take it seriously.

"Don't do it," he said.

The stage one drought we are in is fueling the problem.  With a nearly 11 inch rainfall deficit, the grass and brush is especially dry, making those fires easy to get out of control.

Meadows said, "Their ability to spread to fast is dangerous for us.  We're community members, and so are they.  But we don't want to get any of our people hurt."

It's a burning problem that is spreading first responders thin.

"We're limited in our numbers here, and there's just so much that we can do," Meadows said.

You can't be fined because of the burn advisory; it's just a warning.

However, the state can write you a ticket if you're caught burning without permit.

Commissioner Ingram tells WSFA 12 News that in the current drought conditions, the state isn't issuing an permits.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management bans private outdoor burning from May 1st through the end of October.

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