Many wildfires might be arson - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Many wildfires might be arson

Lack of rainfall means more fires, and many are no accident.

The drought is taking a toll on everyone.

Alabama is the worst part of the country for rainfall, still in extreme drought.

It means vegetation that's dying is one part of a dangerous recipe for arson.

What was once green, now yellow, making vegetation susceptible to ignition.

"Dry fuels, dry air, and lack of humidity that sort of thing add up to extreme fire danger."

According to the state forestry commission, so far this year 3,000 wildfires burned, 1,300 the result of arson.

So many, the state operates an arson hotline at 1-800-222-2927.

Alabama Forestry Commission Northeast Region Director Brandon Hunnicut says his rangers are fighting fires intentionally set.

"Started by either debris burning or by woods arson and in this area, it's kind of a mix match of those two."

A third possibility? All the dry grass the lines Alabama highways and by-ways, combined with fast food wrappers and other litter, a lit cigarette could spell far worse.

"It might be something for our folks who that smoke to think about. Maybe they might not want to thump that into dry debris. It's unusual, but it's not unlikely for a fire to start in that manner."

Officials say the worst might still be in the future because the worst time of year for wildfires is typically the beginning fall.

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