MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Since the beginning of October, a total of 1,028 wildfires have destroyed 11,232 acres across the state of Alabama according to the Alabama Forestry Commission. The situation is only getting worse as no rain is in sight in the immediate future.

Governor Robert Bentley addressed the situation at the site of a recent wildfire in Walker County over the weekend. Earlier in the month, he signed a Drought Emergency Declaration, often referred to as a “No Burn Order,” which prohibits all outdoor burning.

A total of 46 counties in north and central Alabama remain under the burn ban. The ban has been in effect since October 12 and prohibits all outdoor burning. It is illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wild-lands, or marshes; to build a campfire or bonfire; to burn trash, debris, or other material that may cause a forest, grass, or woods fire. The regulation also prohibits all open burning and prescribed burns. If convicted, the penalty for violating the “No Burn Order” is a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.

Additionally, a ‘Fire Alert’ remains in effect for the 21 other counties in south Alabama. While under the fire alert, permits for outdoor burning are restricted.

The Alabama Forestry Commission is committed to protecting the state’s invaluable forest assets, as well as serving the citizens and landowners across Alabama. The Drought Emergency Declaration order will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires.

To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement. Current wildfire numbers are available at any time on the AFC website.

Tom Roberts for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.