Number of wildfires in Alabama increasing

A fire on Mt. Cheaha was reported Friday, September 20th around 2 pm at 6.5 acres. As of...
A fire on Mt. Cheaha was reported Friday, September 20th around 2 pm at 6.5 acres. As of Monday, it is still burning and now totals 20 acres(Alabama Forestry Commission)
Updated: Sep. 23, 2019 at 6:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The number of wildfires in Alabama is increasing. There have been 181 fires in the last seven days around the state, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission. That’s more than half of the fires recorded over the last 30 days.

Alabama is averaging about 26 fires a day. That’s increased from 20 since last Thursday.

“A lot of people have asked how this compares to 2016. And it’s kind of very reminiscent of 2016. I have Déjà vu big time,” said Coleen Vansant, Alabama Forestry Commission.

2016 was an extremely bad year for the commission. The drought of that summer propelled wildfires well into the fall months.

“It’s even the same time frame. And it’s just like a script that’s written. But I don’t want another 2016,” said Vansant.

While Alabama is not there yet, Vansant says we need rain, and soon.

Most of the fires have been in the drought-stricken areas of the state.

However, this past weekend the state saw some in other parts, like one in Pleasant Grove, that for a time threatened a couple of homes.

“The numbers that we’re seeing right now is an indicator of just how bad things are. The number of fires that we’re having,” said Vansant. “The fact we’re having problems on some fires keeping them contained.”

The Forestry Commission has not yet issued any burn restrictions, however, Vansant adds that’s being evaluated day-to-day.

“The longer we go without rain, the closer we come to going under some type of burning restriction,” said Vansant.

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