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The Burn Ban is lifted, but not every area can start burning

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Governor Bentley's decision to lift the statewide burn ban means most of you in the Tennessee Valley can resume burning small and controlled piles, but that's not the case everywhere.

“The burn permit for the City of Huntsville doesn’t really impact a whole lot because there’s no burning in the city anytime," says Frank McKenzie of Huntsville Fire.

That's a year-round ban, no matter the weather. Captain McKenzie said the city put that into place decades ago because of the close proximity of houses and air quality.

Outside of Huntsville City limits, including the City of Madison, backyard fires can resume, but firefighters urge you to be smart about it.

"You are still responsible for any fires you do start. If it does get out of control, you are responsible for any damage done," said Jimmy Sharpe of Moores Mill Fire and Rescue.

"You can tell by the leaves, they’re still dry," said Sharpe.

He said the recent rain has been helpful but not enough to take the threat of dangerous fires away.  “We’re still well below what we need,” he said.

A representative with the Madison County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments said Madison County to his knowledge has never issued a county burn ban and doesn't anticipate one being put into place this year.

If you do plan on starting a fire this weekend, Sharpe said take proper precautions.

“Have enough people there to contain it, have a good water supply,” said Sharpe.

Above all else, Sharpe said, "Just be careful.”

If you live in the City of Huntsville, you can apply for a burn permit through the fire department, if you'd like an exception to the city-wide burn ban.

In the county, if you're planning on burning more than an acre, you'll also need a burn permit from the county fire marshal.