With a statewide fire alert in a place, a plume of smoke filled the eastern sky late Friday afternoon when a fire sparked on the outskirts of the Franklin community, putting local residents on guard.

According to Franklin Fire Department chief Scott Cooper, his department along with firefighters from the Reeltown Fire Department, Shorter Fire Department and the Alabama Forestry Commission out of Macon County arrived on the scene of the forest fire.

Upon arrival, responding units began to execute a backburn which is designed to contain the fire to keep it away from a nearby trailer home.

"We didn't want it to get to their house, "Alabama Forestry Commission's Dakota Sumpter said. The fire spread to a few nearby vehicles that were located on the perimeter of that yard but no one was injured.

Backburning involves starting small fires along a manmade or natural firebreak in front of the main fire front. Backburning reduces the amount of fuel that is available to the main fire by the time it reaches the burnt area.

With extreme drought and modest winds to contend with, the responding units worked into the evening to contain the fire. Once fully contained, firefighters began the search into what sparked the blaze.