City not permitting burning as drought worsens

Published 8:30 pm Monday, September 30, 2019

Neither Charles Henderson High School or Pike Liberal Arts School will be able to host their traditional homecoming bonfires this year as the state becomes more and more susceptible to wildfires.

“We’re not giving permits to anybody right now,” said Troy Fire Chief Michael Stephens. “It’s just too dry.”

The city has a no-burn ordinance in place that requires a permit to burn outdoors at all times. In the county, residents could normally burn outdoors, but with Alabama now under a statewide fire alert, residents must seek a permit from the forestry commission before they burn.

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“Very few burn permits are being issued anywhere in the state right now,” Stephens said. “It hasn’t been this dry since 2016, and it’s not just the drought; the humidity is really low right now and the seasons are changing and foliage is beginning to die off, there’s wind. It’s just adding fuel for fires. Everything is falling in place.”

Stephens noted that there has been an increase in brush fires in the past two or three weeks and that many of the county’s brush fires can start from a simple debris burn or even a cigarette carelessly tossed on the ground.

This burning was issued because of the state’s current drought situation.

With this extremely dry weather, chances that any fire can quickly spread out of control are high.

According to the Forestry Commission, over the last week, firefighters have responded to 182 wildfires across Alabama, burning approximately 2,608 acres.

The Fire Alert will remain in effect until the State Forester decides that conditions have changed.

For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state or any other forestry-related issues, contact your local AFC office or visit the agency website at