Rain gives crews battling wildfire time to rest - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rain gives crews battling wildfire time to rest

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

CLINCH COUNTY, GA (WALB) -  Weekend rain helped crews battling a wildfire in Clinch County but it wasn't enough to put out that fire.

The fire in and around Arabia Bay swamp destroyed at least one shed but thankfully no homes have been damaged.

Neighbors still can't believe what they saw and heard as the powerful fire ripped through area last week.

The flames that swept through Clinch County last week charred thousands of acres. Even with the rain that county's received there wasn't enough rain to put it out, only about a quarter of an inch.

"You kind of hate to wish for a tropical depression because then you got to worry about floods but we are drier now in south Georgia then we were in 2007," said Georgia Forestry Chief Ranger Denise Croker. "We just need a lot of rain."

 Neighbors are still in disbelief at the flames they saw Thursday.

"You couldn't get down the road," said John Fitzgerald. "The flames was over the road you couldn't get back here."

Back here on Holmes Chapel Road, Fitzgerald's brother's shed burned down.

"So far I think it's the only valuable stuff that burned up," said Fitzgerald.

The forestry commission says no houses have been damaged.

"It was probably two or 300 hundred yards away and you could hear it roaring," said Sean McCall.

He said the flames were impressive.

"You want to stay and watch but you can't," said McCall. "You have to get your stuff and go."

He evacuated.

 "I tried to come back Friday of course I was in the clear of the fire but couldn't stay because of the smoke," said McCall.

The wildfire has burned more than 12,000 acres and that's all since last week.

"They're concentrating on the houses and structures reinforcing the lines around them, putting out any kind of hot spots," said Croker.

The little rain bought crews some time to rest and repair equipment but it's still not enough to end the wildfire.

The wildfire is 45 percent contained.

Some of the firefighters are from as far away as Oklahoma.

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