Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alabama governor issues ban on burning across state

Forest Fire 

Gov. Robert Bentley today issued a ban on burning in all 67 counties to address a threat of 
wildfires that being stoked by hot, dry weather and a large number of downed trees. Bentley's order means it will be illegal for victims of the April 27 tornadoes to burn any storm debris on their property. But it allows centralized sites that have been established since the tornadoes to continue burning refuse that is collected by government crews or contractors, officials said.
"We realize that people have to have a place to dispose of their debris. But we can't run the risk of piling an additional disaster on top of an existing disaster," said Tom Conway, general counsel for the Alabama Forestry Commission, which declared a drought emergency this morning.
The governor's action comes after a wildfire in west Jefferson County that was first reported Saturday, has burned hundreds of acres and is expected to continue to burn several more days. The Forestry Commission arrested Kevin Keef, 45, of Adger in connection with that fire.
Wildfire  Burning in Adger Community  
But at least 20 other fires have been reported in the state this week, and the combination of storm debris and drought is creating a hazard that is typically not seen until much later in the year, Conway said. "Conditions are bad, and getting worse throughout the state," he said.

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