Burn ban must be followed

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The unseasonably hot and dry temperatures in Alabama are havinng a larger impact than some people think.

Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued an emergency drought declaration for all 67 counties and said outdoor burning would be banned to help prevent the spread of wildfires.

The decision to ban outdoor burning shows the seriousness of the situation and should be acknowledged.

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The dry conditions can turn a small trash fire into a very serious problem in a matter of minutes. All it takes is a gust of wind or a moment of neglect to turn an afternoon of burning brush into an incident that destroys hundreds of acres of land, homes and possibly lives.

The burn ban is especially important to those who live in areas where lumber scraps and debris are still present from recent tornadoes.

Normally, a simple solution for getting rid of the debris would be a trash fire.

However, given the situation, a trash fire could easily bring a second wave of destruction to areas that have already seen their fair share.

Wildfires aren’t the only consequence that comes from burning during the ban. Even if the fire goes according to plan, there is still the threat of a $500 fine or jail time.

These bans are not in place to inconvenience anyone. They have substance.

Wildfires spread and strengthen much faster than many people realize and once they begin to run, it is very difficult for a department of any size to control the flames.

Small trash fires are a ticking time bomb during drought conditions.

It’s up to everyone to keep them defused.