Monday, May 28, 2007

Drought in North Alabama rated 3-D

It's hot and dry here and we have been getting smoke from south Georgia and north Florida for almost a week now. The winds off the coast is pushing the smoke probably over 350 miles up here into northeast Alabama and most every day now, the visibility is about a half mile. I can't even see the next mountain over from me and it's just a mile away across the valley. It's hard being outside for extended periods of time when it's like this. I try to do some outside work early in the morning and stay inside the rest of the day. The forecast for rain is still almost a week away. Sure hope just some of it would move this way and clear the air here as it's really bad on breathing.

Drought in North Alabama rated 3-D

May 28, 2007 12:33 AM

The drought conditions in the Heart of the Valley aren't something anyone should take lightly.

The extreme drought has firefighters working overtime.

Every shift they tell us they're responding to a brush fire.

Sunday on Monte Sano families snapped pictures, marking the weekend as a special time to spend with family and friends, while remembering those who serve.

Many kick off the holiday with some good ole fashioned grilling, but it's very limited this year because of a statewide burn ban.

Atop Monte Sano a sign reads, "No fires!"

Donna Balinger, of Lewisburg, Tennessee, came to the mountain for the Martin family reunion.

She says it's definitely taking a toll, "You know, no rain, so we've just not been grilling."

They did their grilling at home and brought it to Monte Sano.

Her sister-in-law LaDonna Balinger, is now having to rearrange plans for her daughter's 21st birthday on Memorial Day. "We're having to cook hot dogs inside instead of having the roast outside with the fire and everything because of the dry weather and the warnings."

We also caught up with a medical student from the Alps.

He says it's common to grill in the summer so we asked, is it this bad in Switzerland?

"Four years ago, we had similar conditions so it was forbidden to have any fire in the woods," says Markus Ruttr.

He says he has no problems complying with what's being asked.

"This is one of the worst droughts I've seen here in 16 years," says Huntsville Fire Captain Rolen Locke.

So bad, North Alabama is listed in an extreme drought.

Huntsville Fire and Rescue pointed us to the USDA.'s website.

The drought monitor shows we're listed as D-3, a step below the utmost threat.

It's made several environmental agencies across the state take action by implementing the burn bans.

But there's been some confusion as to where you can burn.

" You can still grill in your backyard. It's just the state parks and the national park in the state of Alabama. There is no grilling or campfires at this time," says Locke.

And for those who smoke, firefighters want you to be careful when you discard your cigarette.

"We've had several grass fires started by people throwing butts out of cars, going down the road in the median" adds Locke.

The dry weather also means no fireworks this weekend.

Area officials are still determining whether many annual fireworks shows such as one in Ditto Landing will still be a go.


Wild Bill said...

Looks like our spell of drought has ended here this year.. Lots of our lakes are above normal now for the first time in several years.. Some areas still have water-use restrictions tho..

Last year at my farm, the guy leasin it was ridin his 4-wheeler across the middle of of my pool and it had only a little water at one end.. Its near full now..

We still have rain and storms in the forecast every day like it has been for the last few weeks and the Dallas area has had lots of rain there..

I guess it will rain all year now that the storms have torn my roof up and I need to be workin on it.. I tried to get up there earlier and as soon as the ladder touched the side of the roof it started rainin again.. Same thang happened Saturday.. Maybe you need to try and work on YOUR roof ??

Almtnman said...

I watched the weather forecast a few minuetes ago and see that there is some rain over in Mississippi now. Our rain always comes from the west and we watch what happens in MS, so we'll know what to look for here. The haze from the Georgia and north Florida fires was much better today. I can actually see the neighboring mountain today. Haven't seen it at all in a week now. My pond is at it's lowest level that I have seen it and I'm still pumping water out of it to keep my garden from burning up from lack of moisture. Sure wish I had a place that had a creek with year round water so that I could pump out of the creek. If that rain doesn't get here by Thursday night or Friday like they say it will, I might have to get the ladder out and see if that works.

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