Statewide fire alert continues for Alabama

Effective Friday, Oct. 6, permits for outdoor burning will not be issued until further notice.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:05 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The statewide fire alert and burn restriction the Alabama Forestry Commission issued last month remains in effect.

The alert was issued on Sept. 22 due to the current drought and lack of precipitation, which could lead to a high probability of fuel ignition.

Effective Friday, Oct. 6, permits for outdoor burning will not be issued until further notice. Anyone burning a field, grassland, or woodland without a burn permit may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor.

The commission says October is historically the state’s driest month and drought conditions are expected to worsen. Risk of wildfire is extremely high right now with just about every region of Alabama experiencing a steady increase in wildfire activity.

“The Fire Alert is not going away until we receive significant precipitation, meaning several inches of rainfall,” said State Forester Rick Oates. “Unfortunately, there is no rain in sight, so the restriction must remain in effect indefinitely. With this extremely dry weather, any fire can quickly spread out of control threatening lives and livelihood, not to mention destroying our forests.”

AFC Fire Analyst Ethan Barrett said, “Another thing to consider during drought conditions is that fires may persist or smolder for days in piles of debris. If anyone has burned in the past few days, they should closely monitor the burned area to prevent re-ignition of embers. In light fuels such as grass and leaves, there is potential for escape of fires. Large diameter fuels (limbs 3′ or greater in size), may continue to burn for days, if not weeks.”

To report a wildfire, call the Alabama Forestry Commission at (800) 392-5679.

More information on Alabama’s current wildfire situation can be found here or you can contact your local AFC office.

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