Brush Fires Break Out in Montgomery County

You've heard about the countless wildfires recently in North Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Well now, Montgomery is getting its first warning that the fire season is here. County officials were called to three brush fires Sunday that could be a sign of things to come.

The entire eastern section of the state has been placed under a fire alert (see map). And so far, over 6,000 acres have been destroyed. One of Sunday's fires charred dozens of acres near Pine Level.

The sky told the story for people miles around. In less than an hour, tens of acres were ablaze and moving fast with the wind. "We've got a lot of fuel in this area that would burn rather quick," explained Volunteer Fire Fighter Dennis Woodall. "Of course it would only burn to the two highways, but there are some structures there that would be exposed."

Weeks of little or no moisture turned almost everything in sight into fuel for the fire. While one team of volunteers worked with water, another man was plowing grass nearby to bury tinder. "There are a lot of other people here right now from other areas. We had some people from Snowdoun here and (the Forestry Commission) is here as well," said Woodall.

"A combined effort using water, bulldozers and watchful eyes brought the fire under control in about three hours. But by that time, an estimated 50 to 75 acres of south Montgomery County farmland was charred black.

Montgomery County sheriff's deputies say some young hunters admitted building a camp fire in the area. Officials believe the teenagers didn't put the fire out completely before walking away.