JEANNE CALLEN/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
As of today, Friday Oct. 14, our area of Alabama has experienced 27 days without a single rain drop and no end in sight to the drought.
The entire state of Alabama has been classified under some type of drought classification by the U.S Drought Monitor. North and parts of east Alabama are seeing the most severe conditions with the middle part of the state suffering from moderate conditions.
Butler County is in the lesser abnormally dry category of the monitor.
It has been nearly seven years since the entire state was classified in varying degrees of ratings on the U.S. Drought Monitor. While 46 counties are under a Burn Ban issued by the Governor, the Alabama Forestry Commission has placed the entire state under a Fire Alert.
Butler County is not included in the burn ban as yet, and neither are Lowndes and Crenshaw Counties, but it does include Montgomery and Dallas Counties. As early as this past August the northeast to east central counties in the state were already under a moderate drought classification because they had received significantly less rain than the majority of the state.
Now, due to dryer air and high winds with no precipitation at all, the entire state is thirsting for rain. The dry conditions are also not helped by unusually warm, nearly 90 degree weather. Although a cold front is expected to sweep the state by next Friday, bringing day-time temps in the 60’s and low 70’s, more normal for this time of year, very little if any rainfall is expected with this front.
According to the Alabama Forestry website, there have been 773 wildfires in the state within the last 30 days that burned approximately 9,695 acres of Alabama land. The most severe burns took place in the northern half of the state but smaller wildfires are occurring with more frequency all over the state.
The Fire Alert which the Alabama Forestry Commission placed the state under restricts the issuing of burn permits to only certified prescribed burn managers who have adequate manpower and equipment to control or fight a fire.
For now, this means until we have a significant rain event and the Fire Alert is lifted by the AFC, “DO NOT BURN.”