According to the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Governor’s Office, the statewide drought emergency ‘no burn’ order has been lifted. The ban has been in place since November after an unusual drought throughout Alabama.
“In recent days we have seen significant rainfall across our state and the Alabama Forestry Commission now believes the worst of the drought has ended,” said Governor Robert Bentley in a press release.
The recent rainfall throughout Alabama has reduced the threat of wildfires. In south Alabama, there have been several wildfires that took days for firefighter to battle before the fire was contained.
Despite the ban being lifted, forestry officials still believe there is a threat for a fire to break out.
Interim State Forester Gary Cole said in a press release, “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 Fire Alert or No Burn Order in affected areas.”
The AFC advises anyone conducting any type of outdoor burning to follow safety precautions such as not leaving a fire unattended until it is completely 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.
News Five will continue to monitor the drought effects in Alabama and update if there has been any changes to the burn ordinances in the state.