Special to Atmore News
With rainfall amounts varying across the state last week, the Alabama Forestry Commission lifted the statewide No Burn order for 33 counties in the southern half of the state, including Escambia.
Effective at 5 p.m. on November 17, these counties returned to the provisions of the statewide Fire Alert issued earlier, and only certified prescribed burn managers will be issued burn permits.
The new, lesser restrictive designation includes all counties south of and including Sumter, Greene, Hale, Perry, Dallas Autauga, Elmore, Macon, and Lee. The 34 counties in the northern half of the state remain under the No Burn order issued November 9 by Gov. Kay Ivey.
According to State Forester Rick Oates, agency personnel have been assessing rain accumulation and fuel moisture content in all counties to re-evaluate the No Burn order.
“The recent rainfall should temporarily help us with the wildfire situation in some counties and hopefully more rain is on the way,” Oates said. “Unfortunately, the northern counties did not receive enough precipitation to lift the No Burn order. Predicted rain for early next week may allow the situation to be re-assessed.”
Since October 1, AFC wildland firefighters — assisted by volunteer and paid fire departments — have battled 727 wildfires consuming more than 7,770 acres across the state. With the No Burn order in place over the last nine days, 53 wildfires have burned approximately 200 acres of Alabama woodland and grassland.
For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.