Governor Kay Ivey issued a statewide “no burn order” Wednesday, November 8.
The “no burn order” is part of a statewide Drought Emergency Declaration which prohibits all outdoor burning in Alabama. The order went in to effect Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 8 a.m.
“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 on October 24, Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) 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The Drought Emergency Declaration order will remain in effect until rescinded by the state forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires.
Rain is forecast to enter the state Friday, November 10, and continue through the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, another chance of rain is possible next week.