Montgomery, Ala - The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has expanded the current fire alert to include the following counties in southwest Alabama: Monroe, Conecuh and Clark. This order was issued by State Forester Linda S. Casey. While under a fire alert, burn permits will be issued at the discretion of the state forester. These three counties are in addition to the four counties originally placed under the fire alert May 19, which included Baldwin, Escambia, Moblie and Washington.
According to Casey, the fire alert was expanded because of extremely dry weather conditions, high temperatures, exceptionally low humidity and the reduced availability of firefighting staff and suppression resources.
"Under the present drought situation," said Casey, "conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also threatening and destroying homes. We are continuing to monitor the situation statewide and may have to add more counties if circumstances do not improve."
The forestry commission is urging residents to exercise all necessary safety precautions with any type of outdoor burning and to call the Alabama Forestry Commission to obtain a burn permit. Burning without a permit is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable bu up to six months in jail and/or up to a $3,000 fine.