Annual ADEM burn ban now in effect until October

Published 3:55 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Local authorities and municipalities are currently working to remind county residents that the annual warm weather burn ban is once again in effect.

Having begun on Wednesday, May 1, the annual burn ban is issued by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and applies open burning bans to 12 Alabama counties.

According to the ADEM, the ban works toward a collective effort of protecting air quality and preventing the generation of air pollution in areas that have had a history of such problems.

From May 1 through Oct. 31, Baldwin, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, Russell, Shelby and Talladega counties are all be subject to the ban.

Over that period, the cessation of burning works to combat the formation and propagation of ground-level ozone and the generation of fine particulate matter that can remain in the thick air during warm weather months.

While beneficial in the upper atmosphere, ozone serves as a respiratory irritant when at ground level elevations.

“Prohibiting the open burning of wood, tree trimmings, brush and debris generated by land clearing and construction or demolition activities is an effective way to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone, which is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides react in the presence of heat and sunlight,” Chief of ADEM’s Air Division Ron Gore said.

The city of Columbiana, its fire department and other municipalities and organizations have all issued several statements reminding citizens of the ban in the leadup to its implementation.

“The burn ban does not provide exceptions and applies to everyone, including builders,” read one statement made by the city of Columbiana’s official Facebook page.

Issued by the ADEM, the warm weather burn ban is separate from other burn bans that are issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission, which often serve to reduce the risk toward forest fires.