August 28, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Fire Safety Urged During Weekend Tailgating and Labor Day Celebrations

Picnics and barbecues are an important part of opening weekend for college football and Labor Day celebrations for many families across Alabama. For those planning to celebrate the holiday with cookouts and campfires, the Alabama Forestry Commission reminds everyone to observe fire safety precautions.
   
With the continuing dry weather across the state, some Alabama counties are experiencing an increase in wildfire occurrence. In the last seven days, there have been 43 wildfires burning over 593 acres, including a 267-acre fire in Jefferson County and a 100-acre fire in St. Clair County. Conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to Alabama’s forests but also threatening lives and destroying homes.
“We urge everyone to use extreme caution with all outdoor fire, including campfires and grilling,” said State Forester Greg Pate. “The small amount of rain we’ve received recently, plus existing dry conditions could potentially contribute to extremely hazardous wildfire behavior.”
 
Forestry officials recommend the following preventive measures when using charcoal grills. Do not dump hot coals in, near, or around dry grass, leaves, or other flammable materials. Do not bury hot coals. Allow briquettes to cool completely; or, soak with lots of water, stir them, and soak again, being sure they are cold to the touch. Never leave a grill unattended. Finally, if a fire does start, it is strongly recommended that you not attempt to fight it yourself. Instead, call 911 immediately; then wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.
 
The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forests. To view the current wildfire situation or learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov. Remember what Smokey Bear says . . . “Please be careful! Only YOU can prevent wildfires.”
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