Monday, December 5, 2016

Drought Emergency ‘No Burn’ Lifted Statewide

For more information, visit this link:

Livestock Indemnity Program for Livestock Lost in Storms

Storm damage to hay barn on Helicon Road.

We recently spoke with Tim Malone, County Executive Director for Winston County Farm Service Agency Office, about a Winston County livestock producer that had lost several animals in one of the tornadoes that hit the county on the night of November 29.  He said that the producer should contact the Farm Service Agency Office in Hamilton at (205) 921-3103 ext.2.  Malone said “the Livestock Indemnity Program can help producers that have livestock deaths due to these storms.”

Producers that have losses should document with photos or video.  They should keep purchase records, veterinarian records, tax records, insurance documents, and other similar documents.   If the livestock are missing, as is often the case after tornadoes, the producer should have neighbors and family members familiar with the farm provide a written statement about their knowledge of the livestock deaths along with name, address, phone number, and their affiliation with the livestock owner.  More information about the Livestock Indemnity Program is available at this link:

Malone said that in light of the extensive damage from the storms, the Winston/Marion Farm Service Agency County Committee has also applied for the Emergency Conservation Program.  If approved, this could allow producers to get assistance for repairing fences, getting downed trees out of pastures, getting downed trees off fences, and picking up scattered roof tin and other debris out of pastures and hay fields.  While the Emergency Conservation Program has not been approved yet, Malone urges producers to document damage with photos, and keep records of time worked repairing damage and clearing debris.  Malone gave an example of a producer using a tractor with a loader to pick up debris out of a pasture.  If the producer used the tractor for eight hours, then his eight hours of labor could be counted at $8-10 per hour, and the eight hours the tractor was in use would also count at another hourly rate.  If the producer also hired a backhoe operator at $75 per hour, he would need to keep the receipts for that work.  These records will be crucial if the Emergency Conservation Program is approved later.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 29, 2016 Storm Damage

Several areas of the county suffered storm damage on the night of November 29, 2016.  One of these areas was on County Road 77 near Helican, Alabama, on the eastern side of Winston County.  Here is a short video showing just a sample of the damage.  Click full screen icon on lower right after clicking play button to see in more detail.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Current Fire Conditions Websites

Photo from U. S. Forest Service website

Visit these websites for Current Fire Conditions:

U. S. Forest Service

Alabama Forestry Commisson

Frontliners - Fire Danger Flyers

Click on any of these flyers below for a printable PDF.

News Release from Alabama Partners for Wildfire Prevention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        November 20, 2016                                                 
Forest Service- Heather O’Hanlon/Tammy Freeman Brown - 334-832-4470;

Alabama Forestry Commission  Mike Kyser/Elisha Ballentine – 334-240-9300

Shooting Star Wildfire on Talladega National Forest Burns At Night in a Longleaf Pine Forest

Top Federal and State Forestry Management Organizations Unite to Protect Alabama Communities
(Montgomery, Al)  November 20, 2016 ----The USDA Forest Service and the Alabama Forestry Commission are taking an all lands approach to protect Alabama communities and natural resources from dangerous wildfires.  The long-standing partnership unites numerous federal, state and local fire specialists to respond to wildfire emergencies that impact all boundaries. Since October 1, approximately 1,860 wildfires have burned over 24,000 acres in Alabama.

Safety is a number one concern of land managers for forest visitors, especially hunters, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts who utilize the forest during the fall season.

Help us prevent wildfires.  Report arson or suspicious activities by calling 1-800-654-0775; share Forest Service and Alabama Forestry Commission fire prevention messages through social media contacts; document the drought to assist natural resource managers to monitor impacts by uploading georeferenced photos of rivers, lakes and streams with the hashtag #documentthedrought and adhere to the statewide burn ban that includes Alabama’s National Forests.   

           For more information about fire restrictions or the no burn order, visit these websites:, or contact the U.S. Forest Service - 334-832-4470 and the Alabama Forestry Commission- 334-240-9357.