Focus on fire safety as burn ban continues

Tuesday the Alabama Forestry Commission announced a re-issue of the statewide fire alert. In the 32 northern counties – which, of course, includes Franklin – no burn permits are being issued.

The fact of the matter is, it’s dry out there, folks. Furthermore, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. According to the AFC, drought conditions are expected to worsen as no rain is forecast for the next week, and October is historically the state’s driest month. Such extremely dry weather “creates a greater-than-average potential for outdoor fires to escape easily and spread rapidly, taking longer – and more firefighting resources – to contain and ultimately control,” the AFC explains.

During the past seven days alone, AFC wildland firefighters have responded to 111 wildfires that scorched more than 1,881 acres of forestland in Alabama.

It’s a big season for outdoor burning. We know people want to burn fallen limbs and leaves and lounge around backyard campfires, toasting marshmallows and swapping ghost stories under the stars, maybe right after a cozy hayride.

It sounds lovely – until that simple backyard fire sparks and quickly blazes out of control.

Now is the time to be extra caution, keeping safety at the forefront as the AFC continues to monitor the conditions and potential for wildfire. We are asking everyone to respect the burn ban for as long as it remains in effect.

Anyone who burns a field, grassland or woodland may be subject to prosecution for committing a Class B misdemeanor.

To report a wildfire, call the AFC at 800-392-5679. For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state or any other forestry-related issues, visit the agency website at