According to wildland fire officials with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) the dry, warm and windy weather Alabama has experienced the last week brought about conditions that fueled an increase in wildland fire activity across the state.
Since Thursday, February 10 through midnight Wednesday, February 16, wildland firefighters have battled 205 wildfires for a total of 5,636 acres. The fires have burned from the Madison County in north Alabama to Mobile County in south Alabama.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 15 and 16, Perry County in central Alabama had a wildfire totaling more than 1,644 acres. In addition, eight of the wildfires in the last seven days have been in excess of 100 acres in size, with four of those exceeding 200 acres.
In Madison County, the AFC called for the assistance of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agencies helicopter to make water drops on a 35-acre fire on Tuesday, February 15. The fire was in very rough terrain in the eastern side of the county making it difficult for Commission firefighters to install mechanical or manual lines around the fire. The water drops contained the fire and should hold it until the rain arrives tonight. The Alabama A&M “Fire Dawgs,” a group of forestry students who are trained in basic firefighting tactics, also assisted AFC firefighters on the fire.
Rains predicted tonight and through much of next week should extinguish active fires and those still burning inside containment lines as well as lessen the threat of any new fire starts for the near future.
The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principles and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. For more information about the fire situation in your area or any other forestry related issues, contact your local Alabama Forestry Commission office or visit the AFC website at www.forestry.alabama.gov