McCalla wildfire prompts residents to evacuate

MCCALLA, Ala. (WIAT) — In West Jefferson County, a wildfire has burned nearly 40 acres.

The fire started near Serene Drive in the McCalla area. Now, people are returning to their homes after about a dozen houses were evacuated after the fire began to burn out of control.

Fire crews now have the wildfire contained, so residents are allowed to go home in the Cullman Lake Road area.

The fire burned over 31 acres–property owner Jerry Brown says the fire was burning on his land that he has owned for 20 years. Fire officials say a tractor and camper burned. McAdory and Concord Fire departments were on the scene along with the Alabama Forestry Division assisting. Thankfully, no one was injured.

“Right now we are riding the fire break, and putting out the fire that burned up to the break–that prevents it from jumping the break,” McAdory Fire chief Jeff Wyatt said.

The Alabama Forestry Division says there has been an increase in wildfires in the past few days across the central, northeast and east central parts of the state. Dry conditions and the extended drought across the state combined with low humidity and increased wind is creating a favorable environment for wildfires. Wednesday, the state had 38 wildfires for 282 acres.

Firefighters are expected to be on the scene for several more hours.

In Blount County, several brush fires burned today, one shutting down part of I-65 N for a while. That fire was caused when a boat trailer lost a wheel in a blow out. That wheel caught fire and was flung into the woods. Luckily, no one was hurt and crews stopped the flames from spreading.

Several agencies responded to another brush fire in Jefferson County this morning. It started around 10 a.m. and spread to five acres near overton Road and Maple Street in Vestavia Hills. Crews were able to contain the fire quickly. Vestavia Hills Fire, Birmingham Fire and Rescue, McAdory and the Alabama Forestry Service all responded. ATVs from the JeffCo EMA “Be Ready Event” at the Summit were brought over to help the firefighters.

The forestry division says despite there being no burning restrictions statewide at this time, they are asking everyone to use extreme caution.

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