Start of fall fire season begins with hot temperatures

Start of fall fire season begins with hot temperatures
(Source: WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The start of Alabama's fall fire season comes as the state is stuck in a hot and dry weather pattern.

The scorching days of temps in the 90s may be drying out trees and grass, but so far, those with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) say they’re not too concerned.

“As long as the humidity stays up, we’re going to be okay,” says Coleen Vansant, with AFC.

Vansant says while the northern parts of the state are in stage one and two of a drought, but that’s normal for this time of year.

“Once we hit October, and we have those dry days where humidity gets in the 20-30 percent, that’s when you’ll see a significant change in the number of wildfires,” Vansant said.

Still, she says it’s not too early for folks to start taking precautions.

“If you’re going to burn, make sure you stay with the fire number one. Have enough water and tools to handle whatever you have going on,” Vansant continued.

She says it’s also important to keep in mind, two weeks could make a big difference in rain levels, but mostly humidity.

Vansant remembers 2016, which was a particularly busy wildfire season, where humidity levels stayed 20 percent or below for months.

“That difference in the humidity makes all the difference in the world," said Vansant.

Officials at the Birmingham Water Works Board say levels at Lake Purdy are down by about three feet, but that is normal this time of year, and far from the threshold of concern.

At this point, they are actually wanting folks to use water.

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