MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Despite the heavy rainfall across our state, the statewide drought emergency 'No Burn' order remains in effect, according to officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission.
Officials with AFC and the governor's office are still cautious and say the ban will remain in effect until conditions change sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires.
"We are grateful for the rainfall we've received, but because of the severe prolonged drought it is just too soon to lift the 'No Burn' Order," explained Interim State Forester Gary Cole. "The winds and lower relative humidity accompanying the cooler temperatures we're experiencing combine to quickly dry out vegetation, which will increase the probability of dangerous wildfire activity until the next rain event. We're certainly hoping the weather forecast of additional rain through early next week is correct, and we will re-assess the situation at that time."
To date, there have been a total of 3,644 wildfires have consumed about 50,000 acres of land across Alabama, according to AFC. AFC says 2,219 of those fires and 29,406 acres just since the start of October.
This past Monday 108 active wildfires burned over 3,000 acres across the state, setting a record for one day. This situation was extremely alarming not only because of the unusually high number of fires but also because of their large size," continued Cole. "It was a nightmarish day and night, stretching the men and women who make up our wildfire suppression resources beyond capacity."
The 'No Burn' regulation prohibits all outdoor or open burning statewide. It is illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands, or marshes or to burn trash/debri and build a campfire/bonfire.
If convicted, the penalty for violating the No Burn Order is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement. For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission's website.