Less manpower means more, bigger Ala. wildfires

Stock image
Stock image

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Forestry Commission is urging caution after a high incidence of wildfires in Alabama over the weekend. AFC firefighters and fire departments responded to 81 wildfires over the weekend which affected some 3,400 acres of land.

The uptick in fires is being blamed on warm weather, lower humidity, and gusty winds. Cuts in manpower due to a budget decrease are also hampering abilities.

The AFC says 15 of the fires that were sparked over the weekend grew to more than 100 acres in size, partially because of the lack of manpower to fight them.

No burning restrictions are currently in place, but State Forester Linda Casey is urging everyone to use extreme caution with all outdoor burning. Drier air being brought in by a cold front Monday is expected to send the relative humidity into the mid 30's across much of north and central Alabama and the mid to upper 40's in southern counties.

Lower humidity, combined with warm temperatures and gusty winds will increase the potential for wildfire through the remainder of the week, Casey said.

In the last seven days 267 fires have occurred across the state, burning 6,400 acres.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Forestry Commission

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.