Fire alert issued

Published 6:18 am Monday, July 24, 2006

By By LISA TINDELL – News writer
Escambia County has been included in an area under a fire alert by the Alabama Forestry Commission. The alert, which went into effect Thursday, will continue until such a time that conditions have improved.
Although the alert does not ban burning, Cannon says that any type of burning is not a good idea.
The City of Brewton has a burn ban in place that prevents any type of outdoor burning inside the city limits.
Weaver said he was glad to see the burn alert put into place by the AFC.
Weaver also indicated that the rash of brush fires in outlying areas is putting a strain on volunteer fire fighters.
According to fire officials with the AFC, although the number of fire starts and acres burned are holding steady, the Fire Alert was issued because of the high likelihood of wildfire due to extremely dry conditions. In many areas firefighters are reporting very erratic fire behavior and it is becoming more difficult to keep fires contained; two of the indicators that the Commission uses in determining extreme fire conditions. Firefighter injuries and fatigue from excessive heat was also a factor in making the decision to issue the alert.
While under the Fire Alert permits for outdoor burning in Escambia, Mobile and Washington counties will be restricted and issued on an individual basis.
The Commission is urging everyone in other counties not affected by the Fire Alert to use all necessary safety precautions when doing any type of outdoor burning and to call the Alabama Forestry Commission for a burn permit.
Other than the counties under a Fire Alert there have been no burning restrictions issued by the Commission, although 12 counties fall under the Alabama Department of Environment Management summer burning regulations (for environmental quality.)
They include Baldwin, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Russell, Shelby, and Talladega.
From July 1, 2006 through July 19, 2006, 399 fires have occurred statewide burning almost 5,100 acres. Since the beginning of the state fiscal year October 1, 2005, Alabama has had 4,486 fires that have burned 65,455 acres.
For more information about the fire situation in your area or any other forestry related issues contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission office or visit the commission's Web page at