By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, November 11, 2016, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced that the State is offering a $5,000 reward to be issued to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who is responsible for setting wildfires.
Governor Bentley said, “The extreme drought conditions are posing a real danger to Alabama wildland and property. If any person is setting a wildfire, law enforcement needs to be notified so the appropriate action can be taken. The purpose of this $5,000 reward is to try to identify anyone who is deliberately setting wildfires.”
To report a wildfire call (800) 392-5679. The state Arson Hotline is (800) 654-0775.
It is illegal to burn during the current drought emergency. Under the current Drought Emergency “No Burn” Order, Section 9-13-141 of the Code of Alabama it is illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; to build a campfire or bonfire; or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass or woods fire.
The “No Burn” order will remain in effect until rescinded by the State Forester, at which time conditions will have changed sufficiently to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement.
According to the Alabama Forestry Commission, firefighters fought thirty wildfires across the State on just Saturday. In the last week there have been 271. There have been 3076 this year with 1112 of those occurring just in the last thirty days.
The State is currently in the grip of a protracted drought. The prolonged dry weather condition is expected to continue across the State through much of the upcoming work week.
The Governor’s reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offenders and shall include only private citizens. Members or employees of any government law enforcement agency or their relatives are not eligible to collect the reward.
For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission’s website.