Effective immediately, State Forester Rick Oates has lifted the Fire Alert for all 67 counties in Alabama which was issued in late September. Scattered rainfall over most of the state during the past week has brought much needed relief to the state’s wildfire situation, and the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has resumed issuing permits for outdoor burning as usual.
“Local volunteer fire departments are great partners to the Alabama Forestry Commission during times of high fire occurrence, so we want to thank all the VFDs that have worked alongside our agency’s wildland firefighters over the past few weeks,” said John Goff, AFC Forest Protection Division Director. Since the first of October, AFC wildland firefighters have responded to 247 wildfires burning approximately 2,283 acres across Alabama. In September, the agency recorded 472 wildfires that scorched over 6,000 acres.
The AFC urges anyone conducting outdoor 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. Burn permits may be obtained by calling (800) 392-5679. Anyone who burns a field, grassland, or woodland without a burn permit may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor. To report a wildfire, call (800) 392-5679.
The Alabama Forestry Commission is the state agency charged with protecting Alabama’s invaluable forest assets as well as its citizens.