USDA issues ‘No Fires’ alert, Ivey declares No Burn Order
Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 16, 2023
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service recently prohibited fires throughout Alabama’s national forests. The announcement followed Governor Kay Ivey’s statewide burn ban, known as the No Burn Order, issued Nov. 8 and is meant to prevent visitors to recreation sites, trails, hunter camps, or primitive forest areas throughout Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee national forests from using fire or fireworks due to extreme drought conditions.
According to USDA Acting Forest Supervisor Dagmar Thurmond, the agency has a long-standing partnership with the Alabama Forestry Commission, working together to fight wildfires.
“Wildfires do not stop at property boundaries,” Thurmond said. “The Forest Service is committed to working with partners to reduce the risk of wildfires in Alabama communities. Communicating to the public a “no fire” alert on federal national forest lands is essential.”
Email newsletter signup
Ivey’s statewide No Burn Order prohibits all outdoor burning in Alabama and was effective as of 8 a.m. on Nov. 9. The order covers all Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) lands including Alabama’s State Parks, state public hunting lands and Forever Wild Land Trust tracts. Gas cook stoves will still be allowed in all Alabama State Park campgrounds and appropriate day use areas.
“We are taking this burn ban very seriously and encourage everyone who visits an Alabama State Park, public hunting area or Forever Wild tract to do so as well,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR commissioner. “Please follow the statewide No Burn Order and enjoy your outdoor recreation responsibly during these extremely dry conditions.”
On Oct. 24, a statewide Fire Alert was issued and since then, Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters have responded to 352 wildfires which burned 3,199 acres throughout the state.
With the opening of Alabama’s gun deer season set for Saturday, Nov. 18, officials are asking hunters to observe these fire prevention tips to prevent accidentally starting a wildfire:
- Avoid parking in tall, dry grass;
- When discharging a firearm, be mindful of sparks;
- Do not discard cigarette butts near any potential fire source;
- Avoid dragging chains when hauling a trailer; and
- If possible, carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.
Information about current drought conditions and Alabama’s No Burn Order can be found by visiting www.forestry.alabama.gov or calling (334) 240-9300.
For information about the ‘No Fires’ Alert, please contact all district offices before visiting or check the Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/alabama. Local offices can be reached by phone – Bankhead District (205) 489-5111, Conecuh District (334) 222-2555, Shoal Creek District (256) 463-2272; Talladega District (256) 362-2909; Oakmulgee District (205) 926-9765; and the Tuskegee District (334) 727-2652.