Bentley signs state burn ban

Published 1:51 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday signed an emergency declaration to ban outdoor burning across the state.

The declaration prohibits any outdoor burning in all 67 counties in Alabama because of the extremely dry conditions which have created an atmosphere for the probability of catastrophic wildfires throughout the state.

Brewton Fire Chief Lawrence Weaver said the ban was a good step because conditions have been so dry. Last week, a brush fire sparked by a blown tire burned more than 1,500 acres across Escambia County.

Email newsletter signup

Since January, 1,808 wildfires have burned over 41,000 acres in Alabama.

“The lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures have left much of the state extremely dry, creating high risk potential for devastating wildfires,” Bentley said. “As Alabamians are recovering from the tornados that moved through the state in April, it is important that debris not be burned. We must take every precaution necessary to avoid the start of a wildfire.”

According to the emergency rule, it is illegal for a person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes, to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, or woods fire. The fine for violating the No Burn Order is up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

“The reduced availability of suppression resources, combined with the large amount of timber that was downed by the recent tornados, extremely high temperatures, and low relative humidity increase the risk for catastrophic wildfires,” said State Forester Linda S. Casey.