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Fall Fire Prevention

By Sam Poe
Monday, December 1, 2014 | 12:11 AM

Over the weekend, area fire departments were dispatched to multiple grass and woods fires.  Since the autumn leaves have faded and begun falling to the ground, many people are tempted to rake them into piles and burn them. However, those controlled fires can quickly get out of hand causing damage to your property, home, and even your family. As with all control burns, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep you safe and to keep the fire from becoming unmanageable.

First, there are options for disposing of the leaves other than burning them. Inside the City of Haleyville, you can rake your leaves to the curb, and the city’s leaf truck will pick them up and safely dispose of them. Contact the Haleyville Street and Sanitation Department to request a pick up time. You can also put the piles of leaves into garbage bags and dispose of them with the household trash. If you still choose to burn them, follow these rules to help keep your fire under control.

  • Build the fire in a contained area away from structures and flammable items.  Be sure there is at least a 6 ft. radius clear around the burn site.
  • Never use gas or other accelerants to make the fire burn faster. Those materials are dangerous and can cause serious injury.
  • Do not burn on days with extreme wind. Winds can quickly spread the fire beyond the controlled area, involving cars and/or structures.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, even for a short period of time. There are many factors that can allow the situation to get out of hand quickly, especially when unsupervised.
  • Always have a water supply (garden hose) nearby in case the fire starts to spread. Also, once the materials have finished burning, always soak them in water to ensure no embers are left behind to spread the fire after you leave the area.
  • Always report control burns to the Haleyville Police Department by calling (205)486-5201. This allows emergency personnel to be aware of your fire and to not dispatch the fire department if the fire is reported by a passerby.
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