THIRTY-THREE COUNTIES UNDER FIRE ALERT
The eastern one-half of Alabama is now under a fire alert because of extremely dry conditions and the threat of wildfire occurrence. State Forester Timothy C. Boyce issued the order effective at 6 a.m. Nov. 14, 2001 for 21 additional counties. These counties joined 12 that were placed under a fire alert Thursday, Nov. 8, 2001.
Counties added to the fire alert today are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chambers, Coffee, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Montgomery, Pike, Russell, and Tallapoosa. In these counties the Alabama Forestry Commission will restrict the issuance of permits to the discretion of the regional forester in that region.
In Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Marshall, Randolph, St. Clair, Tallapoosa, and Talladega absolutely no burn permits for outdoor burning will be issued until further notice.
The fire alert and restrictions on burn permits are a result of drought conditions plaguing many of the southern states including most of Alabama. Lack of rainfall, low humidity, and gusty winds have contributed to an increase in wildfire occurrence as well as the size of fires across much of the eastern half of the state. Frost killed foliage and fallen leaves are providing additional fuel. Wind and low humidity is lowering the ignition temperature of available fuel helping to create an atmosphere for an increase in the number of fires as well as erratic fire behavior.
In the counties where an alert has not been issued fire officials are urging the public to take extreme safety precautions when doing any type of outdoor burning.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001 in Alabama there were 48 fires that burned 508 acres. In the first 13 days of November, 507 fires have occurred, burning 6,817 acres.