- Associated Press - Monday, November 7, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley extended a “no burn order” to all Alabama counties on Monday because of wildfires fueled by dry conditions.

Bentley placed all 67 counties under a drought declaration that prohibits outdoor burning. Previously, 46 counties were covered by the order.

The Alabama Forestry Commission says 1,421 wildfires have occurred in Alabama since Oct 1. The fires have destroyed around 15,409 acres. A wildfire that started on Friday in Walker County has grown into a 700-acre blaze and is still growing, according to the forestry commission.

Over the weekend, other large wildfires burned in Baldwin, Coosa, and Wilcox counties.

State Forester Gary Cole said in a statement that the persistent drought conditions have caused fires to quickly spread out of control.

“Several of these fires have been large, not only resulting in damage to our forests but also directly threatening residential areas,” Cole said in a statement.

The “no burn order” prohibits outdoor burning, including camp fires, trash fires and bonfires and other open burning. Violators can be fined up to $500 and punished with up to six months in jail.

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