Enforcement Officer violates No Burn Order
September 24, 2018
Southern Torch (3790 articles)
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Enforcement Officer violates No Burn Order

By Marla Jones, Reporter • marla@southerntorch.com (Submitted Photo)

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — At the September 3 meeting of the Rainsville City Council, Fire Chief Willimac Wright stated that DeKalb County is under a no burn order through the end of the month of October.

According to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), no vegetative or land-clearing burning is allowed from May 1 to October 31 of each year in the following counties: Baldwin, Mobile, DeKalb, Montgomery, Etowah, Morgan, Jefferson, Shelby, Lawrence, Russell, Madison and Talladega.

The no burn order is in effect to preserve air quality.

On Thursday, Jeff Keener of the Alabama Forestry Commission received complaints about burning at 1659 Chavies Road in the Fort Payne/Rainsville area. Keener contacted the property owner, Rainsville Enforcement Officer Richard Gibson. Keener was told by Gibson that he was unaware of a no burn order and would put the fire out. As of Friday afternoon, the fire was still smoldering. The fire was eventually put out over the weekend.

The Forestry Commission lacks the authority to enforce the ADEM no burn order, however, it is unclear whether ADEM will pursue any enforcement actions. ADEM could not be reached for comment.

Southern Torch reached out to Gibson regarding his awareness of the no burn order and the status of the fire. Gibson stated that he had no comment.

Councilman Ricky Byrum told Southern Torch on Thursday that he was aware of the fire, however, it was his belief that the fire had been put out.

Southern Torch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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