Due to severe drought conditions across much of the state, an increased risk of wildfire exists when hunters return to the woods for the opening of gun deer season on November 19. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) reminds hunters that a statewide no burn order is in effect. The burn ban affects all outdoor burning including campfires on private lands, all Wildlife Management Areas and in Alabama’s National Forests.
“Until we get sufficient precipitation, the woodlands of Alabama are very prone to wildfires,” said Keith Gauldin, ADCNR’s Wildlife Section Chief. “We encourage hunters to remain cautious and avoid building any campfires during this period until we get some much-needed rain.”
According to the Alabama Forestry Commission, there have been 1,749 wildfires in the state since October 1, 2016, burning more than 21,000 acres. Currently, all 67 Alabama counties are included in the no burn order, which will be in effect until further notice. Penalties for violating the burn ban include up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
To lower the risk of accidentally starting a wildfire this hunting season, please practice these fire prevention tips.
- Avoid parking in tall dry grass. Vehicle exhaust pipes can potentially ignite the grass.
- Be mindful of any sparks generated by discharging a firearm.
- Do not discard cigarette butts from a vehicle window or near any potential fire source.
- When hauling a trailer avoid dragging chains. Sparks generated against the pavement can ignite grass along the roadway.
- If possible, carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.
“The most successful hunting trip is a safe one,” Gauldin said. “With this year’s prolonged drought, that includes practicing wildfire prevention.”
For more information about current drought conditions and the state’s no burn order, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.