17 Southwest Counties Still Under Fire Alert

Montgomery, AL – 17 Southwest Alabama counties remain under fire alert. The move came from the Alabama Forestry Commission Friday because of the growing piles of debris left behind by Hurricane Ivan. Fire officials say many residents cleaning up Ivan's wreckage will be tempted to burn the debris. And forestry officials say that's even more dangerous because the state is about to start the fall fire season. Officials say the smoke from burning household debris can also be dangerous. Meanwhile...blocked roads, downed phone lines and a shortage of firefighters make controlling fires more difficult as well. The fire alert will remain in effect until further notice. It restricts the number of outdoor burn permits issued to residents of the 17 counties. The Commission is working with some counties to establish safe incineration areas. There's already one in Spanish Fort, where residents can safely burn debris.