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July 18, 2011


Drought Emergency and Fire Alert Lifted Statewide

     Effective immediately, Governor Robert Bentley and Linda Casey, State Forester of Alabama, have rescinded the Drought Emergency (No Burn) Order currently in place for Baldwin, Mobile, and Monroe counties. The State Forester has also lifted the Fire Alert for the other 64 Alabama counties. According to officials with the Forestry Commission (AFC), the state has received enough rain over the last couple of weeks to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire.

     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 1-800-392-5679. 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 prohibited from summer burning under the “ADEM” (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) restrictions. (For details, see www.forestry.alabama.gov/FireWarningDesc.aspx.) There are also some county and municipal laws that restrict outdoor burning. Burners are responsible for contacting their local government for additional information.

     The Alabama Forestry Commission is the state agency charged with protecting and sustaining Alabama’s forest resources. To learn more about the services provided by the agency, contact any AFC county office or visit the web page at www.forestry.alabama.gov.