Alabama Forestry Commission: Fire Alert now in effect

Soy bean field on fire in Limestone County on Sunday, October 6

Soy bean field on fire in Limestone County on Sunday, October 6

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has upgraded the Fire Danger Warning, issuing a Fire Alert for 46 counties in north Alabama effective immediately. This order for Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston counties was issued today by the AFC. While under a Fire Alert, burn permits will be issued at the discretion of the State Forester.

According to AFC fire officials, the Fire Alert was issued because of the current drought situation, continued lack of precipitation, high probability of fuel ignition, and shortage of available firefighting manpower and resources. With this extremely dry weather, conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also threatening and destroying homes. Over the last seven days, 307 wildfires have occurred across Alabama burning approximately 3,698 acres.

Dr. John Christy, Alabama State Climatologist

Dr. John Christy, Alabama State Climatologist

This Fire Alert will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. The Commission is urging everyone to exercise all necessary safety precautions when doing any type of outdoor burning, and to call the Alabama Forestry Commission to obtain a burn permit. While under the Fire Alert, permits for outdoor burning in these counties will be restricted and issued on an individual basis.

For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state or any other forestry-related issues, contact your local AFC office or visit the agency website at www.forestry.alabama.gov/fire_totals.aspx. The Alabama Forestry Commission is a state agency committed to protecting Alabama citizens and the state’s invaluable forest assets.