Dry weather causing fires to pop up around North Alabama

The hot, dry weather is causing fires to pop up left and right nearly 20-so far this week in Huntsville alone. The entire state is under a fire alert.

Posted: Sep 26, 2019 7:31 AM

Regardless of the weather it's illegal to burn inside the Huntsville city limits, but right now, it's especially important to obey that rule. Huntsville fire captain Frank Mckenzie says his department has responded to 19 outside fires this week.

"In these conditions, they do ramp up," said Mckenzie.

They pose additional dangers when structures catch fire. That's why they'll call in extra units and pay careful attention to nearby grass and buildings.

10 minutes after our conversation with the captain we met again as firefighters responded to another outdoor fire. A family was burning leaves outside and a neighbor called after seeing barreling smoke. What that family didn't realize is it's illegal to burn in Huntsville at any time. Multiple fire trucks responded to the home. She agreed to chat with us about it to spread the word.

"I hope everybody knows before you have to call them out again," said Christine Parker.

"Anything that can possibly cause a spark can catch your grass on and spread really really fast," said Mckenzie.

The same is true across the state. We now know a fire that torched a shed Tuesday night, started because someone was burning wire to sell copper.
The grass fire spread to the shed, and crews were on the scene for three hours.

70-miles east in DeKalb county, the North Lookout Mountain Fire department has been checking every day, to make sure a 400-acre wildfire they put out Sunday night, hasn't re-ignited. The fire chief said the fire alert is a good start, but says no one should be burning anything in these conditions.

Just in the last week, the Alabama forestry commission has responded to 182 wildfires, burning more than 2600 acres statewide. It serves as a reminder that until we get significant rainfall, everyone needs to be cautious.

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CountyCasesDeaths
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