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Statewide ban on outdoor burning issued

MONTGOMERY – A statewide “No Burn Order” has been issued in the wake of nearly 400 wildfires across the state over the last two weeks.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed a statewide Drought Emergency Declaration – often referred to as a “No Burn Order” – today prohibiting all outdoor burning in Alabama. This order is effective 8 a.m. Thursday.

“Alabama is currently experiencing extremely dry conditions, which greatly increases the potential for dangerous wildfire activity,” Ivey said. “State Forester Rick Oates and his team have been working around-the-clock to keep our forests safe and fires contained, and I commend them for their efforts to protect Alabamians, our homes and our wildlife.

“This declaration is meant to prevent unnecessary burning, reducing the chance of avoidable fires. I urge Alabamians to heed this warning.”

Since the statewide Fire Alert was issued Oct. 24, Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters have responded to 352 wildfires that have burned 3,199 acres across the state.

“These burning restrictions are a necessary result of the ongoing lack of precipitation and high probability of fuel ignition,” said State Forester Rick Oates. “During the last month, we’ve seen an increase not only in the number of wildfires, but also in the size of those fires. With this prolonged drought, conditions are such that any outdoor fire can rapidly spread out of control, taking longer – and more firefighting resources – to contain and ultimately control.

“Even though we are predicted to get a small amount of rain this weekend, it will not be enough to lessen the wildfire danger.”

The Drought Emergency Declaration order will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact local law enforcement.

For more information on the wildfire situation in the state, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.

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