Jackson County firefighters battle against extreme drought

A Stevenson brush fire reignited Thursday. Now, crews say it is contained.

Posted: Oct 3, 2019 7:03 PM

A Stevenson brush fire reignited Thursday. Now, crews say it is contained.

Crews headed back to the fire around 3:30 p.m. The original fire started Wednesday. Officials with the Forestry Commission say they expect more fires like this one to happen because of the drought.

The Forestry Commission says the original fire hit multiple cars and two unoccupied homes. On Wednesday and Thursday, crews from Stevenson Fire and the Alabama Forestry Commission were on County Road 133 fighting the brush fire officials say was started when someone was burning garbage. 

Lynn Washington with the Alabama Forestry Commission says this fire is just one of many they've had to deal with this week and they expect more to come. 

"We had one Monday. We had one Tuesday. We had one Wednesday, and I'm expecting one today," said Washington.

Washington says it's happening because of how dry it's been in the county, combined with people still burning. He says unfortunately, he's not seeing an end to this anytime soon.

"Somebody with a lighter could burn up a grass field without even trying that hard," said Washington.

Sand Mountain farmers also say they've seen crop loss because they just don't have the water to keep their crops growing.

According to the state drought monitor, when areas get to the level of drought, they're at risk for soybean pods shattering, hay shortages, low water levels in rivers and lakes and water main breaks.

People we talked to have already noticed low water levels in creeks. There is some hope for rain, but the Forestry Commission says it's no time to let your guard down.

"Everybody thinks, well, we got rain now. We can burn, we can burn our garden spot off or this brush pile we've been thinking about burning for a couple of weeks, now they think it's wet...A little bit of rain is going to soak up into the ground really quickly," said Washington.

Washington also says the last time it got this dry was three years ago and the governor issued a full burn ban statewide.

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