Georgia is prescribing fire for landowners - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia is prescribing fire for landowners

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The wildfire season in south Georgia is coming soon and many landowners will be trying to reduce the fire danger by starting fires on their property.

Georgia has millions of acres of forest. And every year thousands of those acres are lost to wildfires.

According to Tom Lambert, Chief Ranger for the Georgia Forestry Commission's Dougherty Unit, "approximately 58,000 acres," go up in flames.

While that number seems low, it only takes one fire to cause major damage. Like the fires in 2007 in and around the Okefenokee Swamp.

"It burned over 560,000 acres," said Lambert.

The chances for wildfires go up during the late Winter and early Spring. Part of the reason is that some of the vegetation in the forest dies, leaving leaves, twigs, sticks and even whole trees withered and brown; and leaving a potential problem for landowners.

Dried up vegetation can certainly be a fire hazard and turn a small fire into an out of control blaze is you're not careful. But there is one way to reduce the chances of seeing a damaging wildfire on your property.

That way is called prescribed fire. Strict controls are placed on these types of fires and the forecast has to be just right.

"You're looking at what the wind direction will be, what the wind speed is, how much humidity is in the air and what kind of fuel moisture you have," said Lambert.

While it doesn't seem logical to prevent fires by starting them, getting rid of the thick undergrowth by prescribed fire has its benefits for both the flora and the fauna.

Lambert said, "it enhances the environment for that wildlife by enhancing the new vegetation that is grown."

To make the public aware of its benefits, this week has been declared to be Prescribed Fire Awareness Week in Georgia.

"The governor has recognized the importance of prescribed burning as a tool for forestry," said Lambert.

While it seems like a fire is a bad thing, a fire prescribed by the Forestry Commission is one way to make sure that a fire prescribed by nature can be in control, instead of out of control.

About 1.5 million acres are burned by prescribed fires each year in Georgia. It's actually been too wet and windy to do burns this week.

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  Feedback

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Dougherty Co. Superior Court Judge enlightens students

    Dougherty Co. Superior Court Judge enlightens students

    Monday, January 22 2018 5:13 PM EST2018-01-22 22:13:50 GMT
    Goss speaks to sixth through eighth grade students about listening (Source: WALB)Goss speaks to sixth through eighth grade students about listening (Source: WALB)

    Deerfield-Windsor middle school students had a special opportunity to hear from our Dougherty County Superior Court Judge. 

    More >>

    Deerfield-Windsor middle school students had a special opportunity to hear from our Dougherty County Superior Court Judge. 

    More >>
  • Suspect arrested in Albany homicide

    Suspect arrested in Albany homicide

    Monday, January 22 2018 5:02 PM EST2018-01-22 22:02:55 GMT
    Brandon Kentrell Harris, 28, was charged with murder after a 55-year-old man was found dead Monday morning. (Source: Dougherty County Jail)Brandon Kentrell Harris, 28, was charged with murder after a 55-year-old man was found dead Monday morning. (Source: Dougherty County Jail)

    A man has been charged with murder following a homicide investigation.

    More >>

    A man has been charged with murder following a homicide investigation.

    More >>
  • Mother remembers son by launching website

    Mother remembers son by launching website

    Monday, January 22 2018 3:00 PM EST2018-01-22 20:00:17 GMT
    Ajayy Sensei website in honor of Anthony Wright (Source: WALB)Ajayy Sensei website in honor of Anthony Wright (Source: WALB)

    A mother is remembering her son, who was murdered last year, with a newly launched website.  Cathy Cody wants her Anthony Wright's legacy to live on. 

    More >>

    A mother is remembering her son, who was murdered last year, with a newly launched website.  Cathy Cody wants her Anthony Wright's legacy to live on. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly