(WHNT) — It has been a while since we have seen some beneficial rainfall. That is leading to drought conditions across a large part of the state of Alabama, including the Tennessee Valley.

Due to the continued lack of rainfall, drought conditions continue to expand across the state. Only 3.57% of the state is currently without drought conditions.

That is an 18% increase in drought conditions across the state since last week. Even though some showers are in the forecast over the next couple of days, what little rainfall we get will not be enough to catch up on our deficit.

These dry, dry days are leading to critical fire weather conditions across the state. This has prompted the Alabama Forestry Commission to no longer issue burn permits beginning October 6 until further notice.

Much of the state has been experiencing a steady increase in wildfires. Since late September, there have been a total of 18 wildfires statewide, with more than 298 acres burned.

“The Fire Alert is not going away until we receive significant precipitation, meaning several inches of rainfall,” informed State Forester Rick Oates. Oates reminds us that, “…with this extremely dry weather, any fire can quickly spread out of control threatening lives and livelihood, not to mention destroying our forests.”