The, “wildfire is not just a western states issue” reminder received additional focus yesterday as Alabama’s Forestry Commission banned all outside burning in 46 of the state’s 67 counties. WBMA, Birmingham’s ABC affiliate, reported on Monday that drought fueled fires have burned over 3,300 acres in the past week, with 70 blazes alone recorded on Sunday.
The article quotes Alabama’s Firewise Coordinator, Coleen Vansant, who relayed that the burn ban will remain in effect until appropriate rains reduce the wildfire threat.
The article goes on to share statistics from the National Drought Mitigation Center that place 86% of the state in drought conditions, with more than 10 of its counties at extreme levels. Birmingham’s water source, Lake Purdy, is at 35% capacity.
While October is historically the state’s driest month, drought statistics for 2016 have surpassed 2015 levels.
The NIFC Predictive Services Outlook for the unfolding two months illustrates the increasing wildfire risk in the Southeast this fall.
Photo Credits: NIFC Predictive Services Outlooks