Southern heat is fiery threat to Atmore area
By By Laura Courson, Staff Writer
Atmore Fire Chief Gerry McGhee issued a no burn order for the city of Atmore which became effective May 7.
The order arose due to the recent dry weather.
McGhee stated that the city had not received any rain in nearly 27 days when the no burn order was passed.
The order was passed after McGhee discussed the threat of fires with both the Forestry Commission and Mayor Howard Shell.
Although the city did receive some rain on Monday, it was not enough to remove the threat of brush fires.
The fire department is prepared in the event of brush fires with two brush trucks that hold 750 gal. of water (one holds 250 gal. the other holds 500 gal.).
The Atmore Fire Department is preparing for more than just brush fires. The AFD has recently conducted series of inspections and inventories. The AFD has completed nearly 200 inspections area businesses, churches and schools and has more than 200 left to complete.
The inventories include a general layout of the buildings, the inspection of fire extinguishers, a head count of people that may be present in the building during a fire, the locating of gas and electric shut-off valves, and the inspection of the nearby fireplugs.
Inspections such as these are necessary to keep the community safe in the event of fire emergencies.
While fire departments and citizens may do all they can to prevent fires in the city, nature can start some fires that can't be prepared for.
Since last Tuesday, a fire, started by lightening, in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has spread across more than 70,000 acres due to the abnormally dry conditions.
The smoke from the Okefenokee fire has clouded the sky in parts of Alabama and has served as a reminder of the destruction fire can cause. The fire continues to burn.