FOLEY — Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby has issued a local burn ban on open burning of debris starting Nov. 1 due to severe drought conditions and expected dry weather with low humidity over the …
FOLEY — Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby has issued a local burn ban on open burning of debris starting Nov. 1 due to severe drought conditions and expected dry weather with low humidity over the next several days.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the Foley area. Those living in the area should expect to see fire weather watches and/or red flag warnings continued to be issued by NWS until the area receives significant rainfall.
“It is important to now make people understand that with the combination of sever to extreme drought conditions, that is typically how is has been labeled lately in our area where we are in severe drought, borderline extreme drought,” Darby said. “When you combine that with this recent weather change and where we have very low relative humidity and wind involved in the mixture, it is ripe for fires to spread rapidly and get out of control.”
No burn permits will be issued by the Foley Fire Department during this time in city limits, and those outside city limits are strongly discouraged from attempting to burn in these conditions.
“We have jurisdictional area outside of the city amendments, and I want to make sure that those folks understand how concerned we are about fire spread and so really discouraging these folks that don’t have to have a permit, discourage them to burn until these conditions improve,” he said.
While cooking and recreational fires do not require a permit, Darby explained that extreme caution should be used with any open flame in outdoor settings, and adequate means of extinguishment should be available at all times.
Darby noted that the combination of severe drought with humidity and wind are rare, and there must be an abundant source of rain in the area before the fire ban is removed.
If there are any reports submitted to the fire station, such as a resident burning, these will be treated as illegal burns.
“We will respond to any call of concern or complaint and will act swiftly with that,” Darby said. “In most cases, we find that people are just unaware and so we use it as a learning response so that they are educated about it.”
The Foley Fire Chief noted that if the issue of burning during the fire ban is a continuous issue, then they will take action within their ordinances and deal with it from a code enforcement standpoint.