Alabama National Guard unit deployed to assist in DeKalb County firefighting effort

CLANTON, Ala. - At the request of Governor Robert Bentley, additional support from the Alabama National Guard Unit has been deployed to DeKalb County.

The resources will be used to help the Alabama Forestry Commission in battling wildfires in Mentone on Lookout Mountain.

North Regional Forester Terry Ezzell said for the last two weeks several agencies have been working non-stop to put out the flames. He said last Sunday the fire on Lookout Mountain was contained, then someone decided to spark up another one.

He said the wildfires have burned 4,000 acres of land, but said the fire is 75 percent contained. He said several arsonists are behind setting the fires, and the Fire Marshall will be investigating.

Previously, the National Guard supplied three soldiers and one UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, which was tasked with aerial water delivery in support of the Alabama Forestry Commission’s fire suppression efforts.

The Governor has approved an additional UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and personnel to support the continued effort.

A statewide burn ban is still in effect.

Alabama is currently offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who is responsible for setting the wildfires.

To report anyone in violation of the burn ban, contact your local law enforcement.

Visit the Alabama Forestry Commission website for more information on the ongoing wildfire threat in the state.

Mentone Community members have launched a Go FundMe account to collect donations for the volunteer fire departments helping to fight the fires. The community said several of the agencies have lost important equipment while battling the flames.

Many have also started providing food to the fire departments and money collected will go towards purchasing more food. If you would like to donate click here.