Drought raises wildfire concerns this fall

With the drought still plaguing northern Alabama and a dry cold front expected this weekend, the Alabama Forestry Commission decided to issue a fire danger advisory.

Dry cold fronts create fire concerns for more reasons than the lack of rain. After a cold front moves through it's immediately followed by high winds from the north and dry air which causes a drop in relative humidity.

These weather conditions are particularly conducive to wildfires in the fall. Fall is the time of year that leaves are falling and plants are drying up in preparation for winter, essentially producing kindling for fires.

The advisory is not a restriction on burning, but an encouragement to be extra cautious. Terry Ezzell of the Forestry Commission advises you to avoid burning if possible, but to also take care in everyday activities. Coals from grills should be put out completely as soon as you're done. Most importantly, stay aware of your surroundings and what you're doing. If you do see a wildfire, call 911 so they can dispatch the fire department to control the fire as soon as possible.

The advisory is expected to last through the weekend. Unless we see measurable rain soon though, more advisories will likely follow in the coming weeks.