No Burn Order issued for state, Luverne receives nine wildfire calls

Published 11:46 am Friday, November 11, 2016

Since the beginning of October, the Luverne Fire Department has received 23 calls with nine being wildfire related.

Since the beginning of October, the Luverne Fire Department has received 23 calls with nine being wildfire related.

By: Shayla Terry

With the state of Alabama now under a No Burn Order, Luverne Assistant Fire Chief W.A. Neal says that extreme caution should be taken.

“Because we’re under a statewide No Burn Order, nobody can burn anything whatsoever. Period,” Neal said.

Forty-six counties in Northern Alabama were already under the No Burn Order, yet on Monday Governor Robert Bentley added the remaining 21 counties due to high wildfire activity and a lack of rain.

Since the beginning of October, Alabama has experienced 1,421 wildfires. In the last two weeks, Luverne Fire Department has responded to 23 calls with nine being wildfire related.

“That’s 40 percent of our calls,” Neal said.

“We usually average about a dozen calls a month. Those brush fires really kicked our volume up.”

Under the No Burn Order, the Code of Alabama states that it is illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wild lands or marshes; to build a campfire or bonfire; or to burn trash or other material that may lead to a forest, grass or woods fire.

“With the dryness of everything, it’s a no burn issue period,” former Luverne Mayor Dr. Pat Walker said.

Per a city ordinance in Luverne, burning is only allowed in the city with a permit given from officials.

“There will be no permits issued right now,” Neal said.

“If you start a fire, we are coming to put it out. We haven’t had rain in over a month. With the sunny, yet breezy weather we are having now, a brush fire can do a long way.”

Neal says violating the No Burn Order can result in a summons to municipal court. Per the No Burn Order, if convicted the penalty is up to six months in jail plus a fine of up to $500.