Dry weather brings risk of fire in Baldwin County; Cooler mornings arrive

By Allison Marlow
Managing Editor
allisonm@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/7/22

Be careful what you wish for.After a soggy August that had residents begging for an end to daily downpours, October is as dry as the decorative bones popping up in yards as Halloween approaches. Not …

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Dry weather brings risk of fire in Baldwin County; Cooler mornings arrive

Posted

Be careful what you wish for.

After a soggy August that had residents begging for an end to daily downpours, October is as dry as the decorative bones popping up in yards as Halloween approaches. Not a drop has fallen in Mobile or Baldwin County in over 15 days.

And yes, it's normal.

October is typically the driest month of the year along the Gulf Coast with an average of 3.2 inches of rain in Mobile and the surrounding areas.

"It's a little bit of a shock to our system given how much rain we've had prior to now," said Morgan Barry a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile.

The forecast calls for no rain for the weekend and beyond. Scientists with the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center estimate the clear skies could be overhead for the next several weeks.

The crisp conditions mean extra precautions need to be taken with fire.
Currently Baldwin County is one of 12 Alabama counties now under an annual warm weather ban on opening burning.

The ban, regulated by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, is in place from May 1 to Oct. 31 each year as part of an effort to protect air quality in areas of the state that have a history of air pollution problems.

The ban does not include backyard fire pits, but Fairhope Fire Chief Chris Ellis said homeowners need to be mindful of the dangers that come with an evening around the campfire when the nearby ground, trees and leaves are dry and ready to fuel any errant embers.

Fairhope fire fighters responded to brush fires last weekend at the corner of County Roads 13 and 44 and again to another fire on County Road 32 on Monday. That fire sparked when a dead tree fell on a power line. Fires meant to clear property are currently not allowed under the ADEM burn ban.

"As dry as it is, anything can spark and create a big fire," Ellis said. "If you are burning in a pit. Be mindful of how dry it is and have a way to control it close by."

He added, "I wouldn't suggest doing anything with fire right now."

A cozy backyard fire might be out of the question, but it will still feel like fall this weekend. Baldwin County residents will wake up to the mercury dipped into the high 50s and low 60s Saturday and the days following. Afternoon temperatures will climb to only the mid-80s.

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