SYLACAUGA, Ala. – SylacaugaNews.com recently reported that Sylacauga and the surrounding areas have gone more than 80 days without rain. According to the Alabama Forestry Commission more than 1,400 wildfires have destroyed over 15,000 acres of land since the beginning of October, triggering the ‘No Burn’ order issued by Governor Bentley on Nov. 7.

Could that number escalate as more and more deer hunters flock to the woods for gun season? Forestry officials are hopeful hunters will take the current drought conditions and the statewide ‘No Burn’ order seriously.

“We want everyone to enjoy our state’s forests safely and responsibly. However, a statewide ‘No Burn’ order is currently in effect due to extremely dry conditions and high fire danger” said Alabama Forestry Commission Forest Protection Division Director, John Goff. “It’s important for all hunters to consider the consequences of their activities because of the current drought situation.”

Goff said one thing hunters might not think about when heading into the woods are their vehicles — more specifically their exhaust pipes.

“ATV and UTV exhaust systems can get very hot and ignite dry vegetation,” said Goff. He said all exhaust systems should be equipped with with a working spark arrester. Goff also said it is important to properly dispose of smoking materials to prevent fires. He said cigarettes and matches should be entirely extinguished and disposed of in a safe manner.

It is important to remember that small campfires and bonfires are included in the ‘No Burn’ order. If you see a fire while hunting, Goff urges you to immediately call your local authorities.

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