E-911 reports 27 fires since Monday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Local fire departments have responded to 25 fires since Monday, E-911 reports.

Covington County E-911 director Kristi Stamnes said there were 14 fires on Monday and 10 on Tuesday around 4 p.m. At least three more occured before the Star-News went to press.

Stam-nes said dispatchers “are staying busy” sending emergency vehicles to the fires, which have spanned the county from Loango to Florala.

Andalusia Fire Department Chief Ethan Dorsey said Andalusia firefighters had to assist with two fires out in the county on Tuesday – one in the Carolina area and the other in Heath.

“The biggest problem is people burning trash,” he said. “It is still really dry, and that underbrush will burn real fast.”

Dorsey said residents need to pay attention when burning and take precautions such as cleaning out around the burn pile or simply putting the trash in a barrel.

Mike Older, a manager and forester with the Alabama Forestry Commission, previously agreed.

“This is the time of year when people are doing yard work, burning leaves and doing things in the yard,” he said. “One of the most important things a person can do when deciding to burn leaves and such is to make sure there is a clean line around the area to keep it from spreading.”

Older also reminded residents that just because a fire has died down, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave it unattended.

In fact, 90 percent of the time, that’s when the fires get out of control.