Blount Co. Emergency Center: Only report fire if you see flames

Blount Co. Emergency Center: Only report fire if you see flames

BLOUNT COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - More than one thousand wildfires have ravaged our state since the beginning of October and 911 emergency centers have gotten a lot of calls about them.

Blount County Emergency officials are asking area residents to call 911 for brush fire concerns only when flames are visible.

In a statement, the county's 911 center explained that "conditions are currently favorable for smoke from the previous day's fires to settle in valleys and lower elevations, giving the illusion that something is actively on fire."

Caleb Branch, the center's director, says it dispatched personnel on more than 30 calls for smoke Sunday morning alone.

"That is a lot, especially if you remember, of the fire departments in Blount County, all but two are volunteer," Branch explained. "These are men and women in your community that are volunteering to come out and make sure families are taken care of."

The smoke in Blount County is prompting a lot of 911 calls, taxing the resources of the volunteer fire departments. By asking that calls only be made when flames are visible, Branch hopes to preserve resources.

"The goal is to decrease the amount of non-emergency 911 calls into our center as well as make sure the resources at the fire department are freed up to handle real emergencies and actual fires if they are occurring rather than riding around investigating smoke complaints that may or may not be an actual fire in this area," Branch said.

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