MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — After recent rainfall in parts of the state, the Alabama Forestry Commission is amending its statewide fire alert issued three weeks ago.
The changes depend on where you live in the state.
Alabama Forestry Commission Division Director Balsie Butler said the commission has rescinded the fire alert for the southern half of the state due to recent rain and future forecasts.
That includes Choctaw, Marengo, Perry, Chilton, Coosa, Clay, Randolph and all counties south of those. Butler said he’s received calls about homecoming bonfires and says those are OK.
“They still need to check with local officials, but bonfires south of those counties are permitted now,” Butler said.
For the northern half of the state, the fire alert is amended to allow burning only for certified prescribed burn managers. Things like bonfires aren’t recommended.
“Because we have not received enough precipitation, we would highly recommend they hold off on those,” Butler said.
In the three northeast counties of Jackson, Marshall and DeKalb, the fire alert is still fully in effect with no burn permits issued and a recommendation not to burn outside at all.
“If we receive the rain that has been forecasted– and again confidence is very high that we’re going to receive it — then we will probably rescind it, the fire alert, for the northern part of the state as well,” Butler said. “But everything is weather driven by how much moisture we receive.”
Montgomery Fire Chief Kenny Peoples said if you have any doubt about starting a fire, don’t.
“As far as fire safety, just think about it before you do it,” Peoples said. “If it doesn’t seem right or it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you have any second thoughts, don’t do it.”
Peoples said if you have questions about burning in your area, call your local fire department for advice.