Winds making outdoor burning more dangerous

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Due to high winds and dry conditions, the National Weather Service in Birmingham is discouraging any outdoor burning in Dallas County through the end of the week.

According to a weather service announcement, “With a continued dry air mass in place along with brisk wind, there is a high fire danger across Central Alabama…the fire danger is highest across South Central Alabama due to dry soil conditions. Outdoor burning is discouraged.”

The dry air mass is expected to remain in place over Central Alabama through the end of the week, the advisory continued to say. However, moisture levels will begin to increase each afternoon and winds are expected to decrease as post tropical system Sandy weakens and moves away from the area.

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Rhonda Abbott, director of the Dallas County EMA, said it is important residents stay mindful of weather conditions and not burn anything outside during the next few days.

“Any type of fire, with winds like this, you can have a fire in just a short amount of time,” Abbott said. “It puts the responders in danger too when they have to go out [to put the fire out].”

The advisory also said that fire is most likely to occur in high elevation areas and near lakes and waterways.

“Everything right now is just real dry,” said Brigetta Giles, a forester with the Alabama Forestry Department. “It’s easy for a fire to get out of hand right now because it’s so dry and windy.”

Other counties that remain under watch include Marion, Chilton, Chambers, Autauga, Lowndes, Montgomery, Macon, Russell, Clay and Coosa.