Forestry officials show residents how to protect property - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Forestry officials show residents how to protect property

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

CLINCH COUNTY, GA (WALB) -  Firefighters are still putting out hot spots in a huge wildfire in Clinch County that's now 70-percent contained.

The fire in and around the Arabia Bay Swamp scorched thousands of acres over the last week.

Thankfully, it didn't burn any homes but there were some close calls.

That's why forestry officials were out Thursday showing people how to protect their homes from wildfires.

Raging flames burned thousands of acres last week in Clinch County and while no homes were lost, forestry officials knocked on doors today encouraging people to be fire wise.

"We're not suggesting they have a desert or concrete yard," said D.L. Wilkerson with the Oklahoma Forestry Commission.

He says they just want to stress to people how they can better protect their property from fire.

He tells us this home is a good example. The house has a metal roof and plenty of space around it.

"The trees have all been groomed about 10-15 feet above the ground," said Wilkerson.

Some other homes are a different story. This insulation underneath this mobile home and the vegetation around it could easily ignite. Brush piles can pose another hazard.

"The area next to you doesn't have to be on fire," said Liz Caldwell with the USDA Forestry Service. "It could be fires that are several miles away. Embers from the fire can come over and ignite brush piles."

Liz Caldwell who's also a wildlife biologist says when she was in college her parents' home burned down and what didn't help was the trees in close proximity.

"Part of our house could've been saved because I think it started in the back of the house," said Caldwell. "It was an electrical fire but when that ignited and trees ignited, it created more heat witch engulfed the house."

Just be wise when you burn.

If you burn in a barrel make sure you put a screen over it because wind can blow debris out.

Just a strike of a match can start a fire and taking precautions can help save your life and your home.

Close to 12,500 acres burned last week after the fire jumped out of the Arabia Bay.

Click here to learn more about the Firewise Communities program.

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