Ala. Forestry Commission warns against burning debris

Ala. Forestry Commission warns against burning debris

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Source: John Huddleston Source: John Huddleston
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

The Alabama Forestry Commission is warning Alabamians that now is not the time to be burning debris or anything outside.

"If everyone would understand how dry it actually is. People think it's not dry, but it's dry," said Albert Mayo with Alabama Forestry Commission.

Someone in northwestern Jefferson County was trying to burn debris Friday afternoon and accidentally started a full blown brushfire that threatened several homes.

"Burning debris right now is not a good idea, because it will set the surrounding area on fire, and that's what happened here," said Mayo.

Luckily firefighters were able to get the blaze under control before it damaged any structures, but it did destroy close to 10 acres of land. Mayo says until the heavy rain moves in, it's perfect conditions for a small fire to turn into a big one.

"We are having windy days. The ground has moisture in it. But the low humidity that we've had for a couple of days has dried the fuels out on top of the ground and that's what's burning," said Mayo.

That "fuel" is leafs, shrubs, grass, anything that would keep a fire going.

Throughout the afternoon Friday, the Forestry Commission and firefighters chopped down old trees, and used a bulldozer to strip away the top layer of the ground.

"We take the leaves, the grass, etc, and move it away from the edge of the fire. That way there is no fuel there for the fire if it starts back up," said Mayo.

Keep in mind, if you start a burn and it gets out of control, you could be held responsible for property damage. In some cases, you could even face criminal charges.

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