Thursday rain only short-term relief from wildfires

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Thursday's rainfall, though beneficial, was not enough for the Alabama Forestry Commission to breath a sigh of relief. The AFC expects only short-term relief to the rash of wildfires burning recently in Alabama.

State Forester Linda Casey says the rains will only hold the fire situation down for a day or so unless additional rain falls. Casey did say Thursday's rains are giving firefighters much needed rest, however, and an opportunity to repair equipment.

More than 200 wildfires have burned around 10,000 acres of land across the state since February 21. Twenty-five exceeded 100 acres in size, including a 2,900-acre fire in Cherokee County.

The AFC is credited with saving 143 structures and 45 vehicles, while 3 structures and 2 vehicles were destroyed. In the last 30 days, 614 wildfires have occurred in Alabama burning approximately 17,820 acres of land.

There are no burning restrictions in place currently, but Alabamians are being urged to use extreme caution with all outdoor burning.

It is an Alabama state law to obtain a burn permit before you burn any woodland, grassland, field, or wood debris greater than one quarter acre or within 25 feet of flammable material. Be sure to clear down to mineral soil around the area to be burned. Have enough tools, equipment, and manpower to safely control your fire. Once started, stay with the fire until it is completely out. To obtain a burn permit, call 1-800-242-2504.

For more information on the current wildfire situation, visit the Alabama Forestry Commission's website at

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Forestry Commission

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