Alabama remains under statewide fire alert, while drought conditions grow

Wildfire
(Alabama Forestry Commission Wildfire Map)

Despite chances for rain later this week, Alabama remains under a statewide Fire Alert.

The Alabama Forestry Commission declared the Fire Alert last month on September 22nd. Since then, very little precipitation has fallen throughout the state. Presently, most of Alabama is experiencing drought conditions according to the weekly Drought Monitor report.

Portions of Mobile, Monroe, Baldwin, Escambia and Conecuh counties are under extreme drought conditions.

The Fire Alert issued by the Forestry Commission restricts outdoor burning. For example, anyone who burns a field, grassland or woodland without a burn permit may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor.

Over 140 fires statewide in the past week

Drought
(Alabama Drought Monitor Map)

As the drought worsens, so does the number of wildfires.

“Over the past weekend, our firefighters responded to 81 fires that burned more than 1,000 acres across the state. At one point on Monday, 28 wildfires were burning at one time, including two large fires: a 300-acre blaze in Bullock County and one for 112 acres in Shelby County. This potential threat to lives, livelihood, and forestlands can be avoided if citizens will remain vigilant and heed the warnings.” ~Rick Oates, Alabama State Forester

Over the last 7 days, 142 fires have burned 1,669 acres in Alabama. 

According to Oates, Alabama has deployed several firefighters to assist with wildfires in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi during the last couple of months. 

“These sister states have been experiencing severe fire situations. Now wildfire activity is increasing here at home.” ~Rick Oates, Alabama State Forester

State Parks issues restrictions

The Forestry Commission is not the only group worried about the increased number of wildfires in the state. Last week, Alabama State Parks also instituted burn restrictions for their guests at half of Alabama’s state parks.

Even though some rain is predicted in the coming days, it will only be a temporary reprieve.

Since October is historically the state’s driest month, drought conditions are expected to worsen across the state, the Forestry Commission informed The Bama Buzz.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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