Wildfire alert issued for entire county

Shelby County is one of 23 counties under a fire alert, the Alabama Forestry Commission announced Wednesday.

The alerts were issued because of extremely dry weather conditions and the high number of fires that have already occurred, said State Forester Linda Casey.

Since March 1, 11 wildfires have occurred in Shelby County, burning approximately 50 acres. Statewide, more than 780 fires have torched almost 19,000 acres.

As long as the fire alerts are in place, outdoor burning will be banned without a burn permit.

While March is traditionally the start of spring fire season, Casey said little rainfall, low humidity and strong winds have combined to create an atmosphere particularly more favorable for wildfire.

She is encouraging residents to use common sense and take precautions when doing any type of outdoor burning.

The fire alert will continue until lifted by the state forestry commission. Some relief may come Saturday, when there is a 40 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms.

For more information about the fire situation in Shelby County, call County Forestry Manager Brad Lang at 669-4133. To obtain a burn permit, call (800) 292-6653 or visit www.forestry.state.al.us