DELTA, Ala. (WIAT) — Cheaha State Park has been closed to the public since Saturday after two wildfires broke out within the Talladega National Forest. The park had hundreds of acres impacted by the fire.
“One on the east side of 281, which covered about 735 acres. And one on the west side, on the back side of the mountain called the Duck Nest fire,” Park Ranger William Sykes said.
The smoke and flames of the wildfire could be seen from every angle. Mark Brereton is a local pilot who flew over the forest during the fire.
“I was flying a young kid for his first ever flight. And he looks out the window and goes ‘excuse me, sir. Is that mountain supposed to be on fire?’ And I said no kid it’s not,” Brereton said.
“You could see firefighters working along the ridges there. And it looked like a huge task that they had on their hands,” Brereton said.
Sykes says as of Monday, no one has been hurt from the wildfires. He says they closed the park to the public for safety reasons because wildfires at any moment can spread at an alarming rate.
“Even though they’ve gotten the flames out, as the humidity drops and the air drys everything out, it could stir the embers up and cause more flames,” Sykes said.
The park will still be closed Tuesday during the day, but overnight guests will be allowed to check in during the afternoon.