Because extremely dry conditions have created an atmosphere where the probability of catastrophic wildfire activity is high, Gov. Robert Bentley signed an Emergency Drought Condition Declaration prohibiting outdoor burning in all 67 counties in Alabama.
Since January 1, 808 wildfires have burned over 41,000 acres in Alabama, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.
“The lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures have left much of the state extremely dry, creating high risk potential for devastating wildfires,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “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 State Forester Linda Casey, “The reduced availability of suppression resources, combined with the large amount of timber that was downed by the recent tornadoes, extremely high temperatures and low relative humidity increase the risk for catastrophic wildfires.”
Pursuant 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 a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.