Improper burning practices lead to 40 vegetation fires in 2 weeks, officials say

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CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala (WIAT) – Calhoun County Emergency Officials are warning residents about burning debris after responding to 40 wildfire calls.

Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency Director, Michael Barton, says fire officials responded to 28 calls March 22 – 24, and 12 calls March 29 -31. Barton says this is above average this time of year. 

Barton says the majority of the vegetation fires were caused by controlled burns getting out of control.

“It’s nice weather, the temperatures are warming up,” said Barton, “So people are out and about and cleaning up their yards now.”

Barton says windy conditions combined with low humidity creates a recipe for a potential disaster.

“So when people are using controlled burns to clean it their debris. It’s easy for that fire to get out of control.” said Barton.

The Calhoun County EMA Office is urging residents to first call their local fire department to determine burn permit requirements; clear out the area around the burn site to prevent the fire from spreading; keep a water hose or plentiful water source nearby; check for windy weather conditions.

Barton says when in doubt, talk to your local fire department and they can walk you through the process.

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