Fire prevention tips for hunters this deer season

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A wildfire burns in a fir and aspen forest. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Alabama Department of Conservation would like to remind hunters before the opening of gun deer season on November 19th, that due to severe drought conditions across the state there is an increased risk of wildfire.

A state wide no burn order including all 67 Alabama counties will be in effect until further notice.

The burn ban affects all outdoor burning including campfires on private lands, all Wildlife Management Areas and in Alabama’s National Forests.

“Until we get sufficient precipitation, the woodlands of Alabama are very prone to wildfires,” said Keith Gauldin, ADCNR’s Wildlife Section Chief. “We encourage hunters to remain cautious and avoid building any campfires during this period until we get some much-needed rain.”

According to the Alabama Forestry Commission, there have been 1,749 wildfires in the state since October 1, 2016, burning more than 21,000 acres.

Penalties for violating the burn ban include up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Fire Prevention Tips

  • Avoid parking in tall, dry grass.  Vehicle exhaust pipes could potentially ignite the grass.
  • Be mindful of any sparks generated by discharging a firearm.
  • Do not discard cigarette butts from a vehicle window or near any potential fire source.
  • When hauling a trailer avoid dragging chains. Sparks generated against the pavement can ignite grass along the roadway.
  • If possible, carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.

“The most successful hunting trip is a safe one,” Gauldin said. “With this year’s prolonged drought, that includes practicing wildfire prevention.”

For more information about current drought conditions and the state’s no burn order, visit the Alabama Forestry Commissions website.