Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) – With debris piling up along roadways and in yards during clean up in the wake of Hurricane Sally, you may be tempted to burn your debris to get rid of it. However, each year the Alabama Department of Environmental Management issues burn bans for twelve counties in Alabama. Mobile and Baldwin counties are included in our area from May 1 through October 31.
The main issue in Mobile County is not only burning debris getting out of control during a burn ban, but also many are calling 9-1-1 to report burning in their area. Steven Millhouse with Mobile Fire Rescue says, “You can just ask your neighbors directly or if it becomes a major issue you can give a call to our Bureau of Fire Prevention or our Community Risk Reduction Division and we will be happy to ask them to put it out.” 9-1-1 should only be used for emergencies.
In Baldwin County, no one should be burning due to the burn ban, but it could also be life-threatening. Roy Glenn, the Barnwell Fire Chief, explains, “We still got power lines down, poles down, tree debris….we can’t access a lot of the area if the fire gets out or if you have a need, it is harder for us to get in. If the fire does get out of control, we will be in the same situation that out West is right now with the wildfires.”
Even if it has rained recently, the fire dries out the debris which would cause it to continue burning. Also, with so many without power, people are opening their windows to let in cooler air. If someone is burning in the area, smoke could get into people’s homes and could potentially be life-threatening if the person has any preexisting medical conditions.
It is just best to wait to burn until the bans are lifted or wait for waste management or another organization to pick up the debris.
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