Despite wet weather wildfires can happen -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Despite wet weather wildfires can happen

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Nearly three years after wildfires ripped through south Georgia, a prelude to an historic drought, the situation now is much different.

Rainfall, and a lot of it, has fallen in the region. But that doesn't mean fires can't grow out of control.

"Actually I think that might be one of the one of the problems we're having at this time. We are having a number of fires that are occurring and I think it's that's false security of thinking that it's so wet the fire is not going to escape from them and they can be a little more relaxed," said Chief Ranger Tom Lambert, Dougherty County Forestry Commission. 

That was the case Monday on Gillionville Road. Firefighters were called out to a home where they had to extinguish a controlled burn that got out of hand.

And while the ground may be saturated, the vegetation is a bit different right now due to an unusually cool winter.

"Vegetation hasn't greened up as much as it normally does by this time of year. So you should actually be a little more cautious because your light fuels, like your brown grasses, they dry out quickly," says Lambert.

Each year Georgia experiences more than 7,000 wildfires. As a result, several area fire departments are receiving calls from drivers reporting what is nothing more than controlled burns.

But keeping an eye on your prescribed burn is important in the event it breaks the line.

"That happens from time to time. Sometimes that wind shift, people don't foresee that happening," says Lambert.

While this is the peak of burn season and its purpose is essential to the area, forestry officials urge anyone who plan on burning to get a permit or face a possible fine.

To get a burn permit you can visit your local forestry office or call 1-877-OK2-BURN. You can also apply for online at


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