With Hurricane Ian soon to make landfall in Florida, the state of Alabama will be situated on the dry side of the storm. On Wednesday, Alabama will be seeing lower than normal relative humidity and stronger winds across the state, meaning conditions are favorable for wildfires to start easily, spread rapidly, and be difficult to control. Because Alabama is already experiencing dry conditions heading into the event, this critical weather behavior will elevate fire danger for the state.
The Alabama Forestry Commission is urging caution on any outdoor burning. If you must burn, or have burned in the last few days, please check your fires to make sure they are properly extinguished. Smoking piles immediately adjacent to flammable vegetation have the chance to rekindle and spread under these conditions.
Weather predictions for Alabama on Wednesday include relative humidity under 25 percent and sustained winds close to 15 mph with stronger gusts in areas. Red Flag Warnings have already been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for Baldwin, Butler, Clarke, Choctaw, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, Washington, and Wilcox counties. A Fire Weather Watch is also being issued by the NWS for Wednesday, September 28, for the following counties: Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Marion, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, and Walker. Please pay attention to local weather outlets as fire weather conditions may change through the weekend.
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.