Wildfire Burns Hundreds of Acres

Wildfire Burns Hundreds of Acres

The damage from a wildfire in west Alabama can be seen for miles. It started about five miles north of York, Ala., on this isolated property just off Highway 17.

Foresters say they were first alerted about the fire Monday morning, but they think that it started before then.

"This fire had actually been burning the day before we found it. There had been a lot of smoke from Georgia and Florida and maybe that is the reason people didn't report it," said Rusty Smith of the Alabama Forestry Commission.

In all, more than 700 acres are thought to have been burned. The cause is still under investigation. A probe is also ongoing into the dollar amount of damage done.

With thousands of dollars worth of trees for harvesting now burned, officials say if this is a case of arson, the person or persons responsible could face some stiff penalties.

"Jail time and fines can range anywhere $5,000 to $10,000 or more, plus, the costs of the damage they caused," said Smith.

For now, Smith says foresters have been able to contain the burn, but it's still being monitored for any possible flareups.

Smith said, this time, locals were fortunate. No houses were affected by this wildfire. However, with continued dry conditions, he says next time they might not be so lucky.

Currently, the entire state of Alabama is under a fire alert.

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