Wildfires burning around South as drought worsens

BROOKSIDE, ALA. - Wildfires are charring hundreds of acres daily in the South amid a worsening drought, and no rain is in sight.

Fires this week have burned acreage in communities around Birmingham, Alabama. Officials say fires also are causing problems in northwest Georgia.

Forestry officials say rain is the answer, but substantial storms aren't predicted in short-term forecasts.

The latest federal statistics show the entire Southeast is locked in a severe drought, and forecasters say no substantial rainfall is predicted.

Wildfires have burned more than 12,000 acres statewide in Alabama in the last 30 days.

Authorities suspect simple carelessness caused some of the blazes, while others could be arson.

The state has banned outdoor fires across a wide area of the state, and Georgia has stopped issuing burn permits in some counties.

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