Alabama: fewer firefighters hampers ability to control wildfires

In May of 2010, Wildfire Today reported that the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) expected to eliminate one-third of their wildland firefighters due to budget problems. We found out later that the AFC laid off 75 employees.

Now it appears that this is having an impact on the fire suppression ability of the AFC. Here is an excerpt from WSFA 12 news, dated February 21, 2011:

The Alabama Forestry Commission is urging caution after a high incidence of wildfires in Alabama over the weekend. AFC firefighters and fire departments responded to 81 wildfires over the weekend which affected some 3,400 acres of land.

The uptick in fires is being blamed on warm weather, lower humidity, and gusty winds. Cuts in manpower due to a budget decrease are also hampering abilities.

The AFC says 15 of the fires that were sparked over the weekend grew to more than 100 acres in size, partially because of the lack of manpower to fight them.

Lower humidity, combined with warm temperatures and gusty winds will increase the potential for wildfire through the remainder of the week, Casey said.

In the last seven days 267 fires have occurred across the state, burning 6,400 acres.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Forestry Commission

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Alabama: fewer firefighters hampers ability to control wildfires”

  1. I had the opportunity to fly (work) everything Mr.Snow designed and built. A to T. Like a true Texan his aircraft represented who he was, strong and dependable. Good-by Leland.


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