The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) issued a statewide Fire Alert for Alabama Friday afternoon. The recent weather pattern the region has seen has contributed to an increased fire risk for the state.

The lack of rainfall in the forecast has led to abnormally dry to excessive drought conditions across the state. The dry conditions in place combined with occasional wind gusts over 15 mph could allow any fire to quickly spread out of control.

While under the Fire Alert, permits for outdoor burning will be restricted.

Anyone who burns a field, grassland, or woodland without a burn permit may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor. The Fire Alert will remain in effect until further notice until it is rescinded by the AFC.

For more information on this or on the current wildfire situation across the state, you can visit the AFC’s website.

Current Drought Conditions:

The latest drought monitor update was released on Thursday, September 21st.

This latest update shows only 22 percent of the state is not experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions. With the continuous lack of rain in the forecast, the percentage of the state experiencing these conditions will likely increase. The worse conditions are in South Alabama where moderate to excessive drought is occurring.

Looking at North Alabama specifically, we are experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The last time many of us observed measurable rainfall was over a week ago. Muscle Shoals has not recorded a tenth of an inch of rainfall since August 28th. Heading into the coming week, isolated showers will return to the area.