News Staff Report
Alabama Forestry Commission (ACF) officials announced Monday, December 4, that effective immediately, all burn restrictions have been lifted across the state of Alabama.
Burn permits will be issued as normal by the AFC. This includes 11 counties in northeast Alabama that had been under a “No Burn” order since it was issued by Gov. Ivey on November 9. These 11 counties will remain under a “fuel advisory,” meaning extra safety precautions are required during burning because of the abnormally dry conditions.
“Although we still have not received enough rain to eliminate drought conditions in all areas of the state, we are beginning to see a wetter pattern,” State Forester Rick Oates said. “With higher humidities and good recovery occurring at night from dew fall, surface fuels have moved out of critical fire danger thresholds and the chance of significant wildfire potential has decreased across the state.
“Even with a return to wetter weather, drought conditions persist. Fires can still escape, especially during gusty conditions or periods of low relative humidity (30 percent or less). These fires are prone to containment problems and can burn for days in the organic layer of the soil.”
Residents and landowners in the state’s 11 northeastern counties, or any drought-declared area (D1, D2, D3 according to the US Drought Monitor / Alabama), are urged to “exercise extreme caution” when conducting any type of outdoor burning.
Before igniting an outdoor burn, the area around which you plan to burn should be raked or plowed. The soil should be watered to full saturation to prevent the fire from escaping the firebreak.
Never leave any fire unattended; remain with your fire until it is completely out. Ensure that you have the necessary equipment and personnel to control the fire. (For smaller debris burns, have a garden hose or other water supply on hand.)
Any agricultural or silvicultural fire more than a quarter-acre in size requires a permit from the AFC.
Burn permits may be obtained by calling (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.
To learn more about the services provided by the agency, contact any AFC county office or visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.