State remains on no burn ban

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The state’s “no burn” order will not be lifted anytime soon despite recent rains.

All 67 counties in the state of Alabama remain under a drought emergency or no burn order indefinitely. Under the ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited.

The Alabama Forestry Commission and Gov. Robert Bentley’s office evaluated what impact recent rainfall made on the state’s drought when deciding to keep the No Burn Order in place.

The 10-day forecast for Alabama shows below-average rainfall is expected, with afternoon high temperatures remaining above normal. This weather pattern will accelerate the drying of vegetation and debris, especially in areas with timber damaged during the April tornados, quickly returning conditions to the same threat that existed prior to the recent rainfall.

For those planning Fourth of July celebrations, the law does not prohibit fireworks, but State Fire Marshal Edward Paulk suggests everyone follow state laws and take firework safety measures.

“First thing is use common sense,” said Paulk. “Make sure fireworks are working properly, and refrain from using them in dry areas.”

Paulk also suggested not using fireworks that fly into the air and ones with sticks or stems that fall back to the ground.

“Make sure the ground is wet, and have plenty of water on hand so if there is a problem it can be taken care of immediately.”

The burn ban was issued and has been in effect since Tuesday, June 7, and there is no projected date when it will be lifted.

Under the order, it is illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; to build a campfire or bonfire; or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass or woods fire.

If convicted, the penalty for violating the no burn order is a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.