July 6, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

34 Additional Counties Downgraded to Fire Alert

Officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) say recent rains and higher humidity have increased ground moisture levels in 34 north Alabama counties, reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire and justifying the downgrading of these counties from Drought Emergency (No Burn) to Fire Alert. This action brings the total number to 46 counties under Fire Alert status.    

The Forestry Commission urges anyone burning to follow safety recommendations such as not leaving a fire unattended until it is out, having the necessary equipment and personnel to control the fire, and having a garden hose or other water supply on hand for smaller debris burns. Any fire more than a quarter-acre in size or within 25 feet of a forested area requires a permit from the AFC. Burning without a permit is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $3,000 fine. Please note that the AFC will not issue burn permits for those 12 counties under the “ADEM” (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) summer burning restrictions. (For more information, see www.forestry.alabama.gov/FireWarningDesc.aspx.)

The following 21 southern counties remain under the current Drought Emergency (No Burn Order): Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia, Washington, Conecuh, Monroe, Clarke, Choctaw, Marengo, Wilcox, Covington, Coffee, Geneva, Dale, Henry, Houston, Barbour, Pike, Bullock, Crenshaw, and Butler. Pursuant to this emergency rule, it shall be unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; to build a campfire or bonfire; or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, or woods fire, until said declaration is lifted. 

The AFC will continue to monitor ground moisture levels throughout the state. If ground fuels become exceptionally dry again, it may be necessary to re-issue a No Burn Order in affected areas. 
This Fire Alert in the 46 counties will remain in effect until lifted by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. For more information, contact any Alabama Forestry Commission county office or visit the AFC web page at www.forestry.alabama.gov. The Alabama Forestry Commission is a state agency committed to protecting Alabama citizens and the state’s invaluable forest assets.

  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
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