Forest Alerts & Notices

The club is frequently asked about trail closures, campfire bans, and other such things that the Forest Service tosses out there now and then. The answers can be found in the Alerts & Notices section of the National Forests of Alabama website.

That section contains a wealth of information but it helps to know what you are looking for. That is the purpose of this page, kind of a guide to the USFS page. The relevant links are identified by the bold-faced text you want to find (since the target URL can be changed at any time, certainly without any obligation to inform us, and the pages have strange names anyway).

For information concerning trail, road, and other recreational site closings, click the Know Before You Go link under the Wildfire Alerts and Closures heading. This one is very straightforward and the Bankhead conveniently shows up first.

For information concerning campfire bans and other regulations, click the Closure orders link under the Rules and Closure Orders heading. These require a little more explanation since we are definitely getting into the realm of FedSpeak.

A "closure order" is a "thou shalt not" though sometimes they are issued to rescind a previous injunction. Orders can be posted for the entire region or for individual forests. Those for district "01" apply specifically to the Bankhead while district "00" orders apply to all the forests. Translation: you may have to look in two places.

Each order number usually contains the year it was issued but orders can be extended into the future. Just because it's labeled 2007 when they told you that you can't run around naked in the Bankhead does not mean that you can do so now. In other words, the number of the closure order does not indicate whether or not it is still in effect.

For campfire bans, you want to look for the phrase "Emergency Fire and Fireworks" in the title. If the ban has been rescinded, there should be another "Termination Order for ..." with the same number.

Once again, the link is Alerts & Notices. If all else fails, you can call the Bankhead District Office at 205.489.5111 during normal business hours.

There is much more information to be found on the National Forests in Alabama website and everyone is encouraged to go explore.

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