With only a slight chance of rain in the forecast, the current fire danger advisory blanketing Alabama may soon be upgraded to a complete burn ban.
The Alabama Forestry Commission issued a fire danger advisory earlier this week for Alabama's 67 counties.
Current drought conditions and persistent high temperatures have combined to create a high probability of fuel ignition and an atmosphere favorable for wildfires, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.
No burn ban has been issued at this time. However, the extended weather forecast shows no more than a 20 percent chance of rain in the Wiregrass through the middle of next week.
“If we don’t see a significant amount of rainfall soon, we are looking at a good possibility of having a burn ban issued,” said Alabama Forestry Commission/Henry County Division Forestry Specialist Huey Jones.
“Just last weekend, the commission responded to a wildfire. After burning 140 acres, the fire was under control. The best piece of advice I can give anyone at this time is, if you don’t have experience with burning, don’t do it now — wait.”
The extended weather forecast
According to Jones, the weather conditions can also affect heavy duty equipment.
“A cutter for a logging company and a farmer’s hay bailer have been damaged by fire due to the equipment getting too hot in these hot and dry conditions,” Jones said.
In the last 30 days, the Alabama Forestry Commission wildland firefighters have battled more than 190 wildfires that led to the burning of roughly 2,221 acres of land across the state.
Tuesday afternoon, the Dothan Fire Department responded to a fire on the Ross Clark Circle that they believe was started by a discarded lit cigarette. The fire was quickly extinguished.
While under the fire danger advisory, all necessary safety precautions should be exercised when doing any type burning.
“Everyone needs to remember, whenever someone is doing a burn and that burn gets out of control, whoever lit the fire is responsible for any damages,” Jones said. “If you are burning a field and that burn gets out of control and burns a neighbor’s home, you are responsible. If the smoke gets into a highway and a wreck occurs because of that smoke, you are responsible. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with doing a burn. These are not the appropriate conditions for a burn. Stay safe, wait to burn if at all possible, and never leave a fire unattended.”
The Alabama Forestry Commission reminds everyone where there is smoke there is fire. If smoke is visible contact your local fire department, your local Alabama Forestry Commission or 911 for the area to be investigated in effort of preventing wildfires.