Wildfire danger high in Southwest Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wildfire danger high in Southwest Georgia

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March 15, 2004

Mitchell County  -- Georgia Forestry Commission rangers are glad to see rain in the forecast. Wildfires have been raging across Southwest Georgia the last two weeks, because of the dry underbrush and March winds. But foresters warn you still need to be careful when you burn.

 This 40 acres at the end of Calhoun Trail Road in Mitchell County was burning out of control Friday. Luckily it reached another property line with a fire break and a controlled burned area. That stopped the fire from spreading. District Forester Greg Findley said "Started from a spark from a piece of equipment, a tractor. It consumed about 40 acres. But we were very lucky, this area had been prescribed burned previously, so all the fuel had been consumed."

 Last week Southwest Georgia District foresters battled over 80 fires in the 12-county area. This is the time of year wildfires are most dangerous. Findley said "With the conditions that we had, the low humidities and the windy conditions, all it takes is one spark and you can have a fire get out of control very rapidly."

Monday's light showers will not solve the wildfire problem. Foresters ask you to use extreme caution if you burn outdoors. Findley said "One little spark can get in a lot of trouble right now."

 In the next weeks, as the underbrush in the woods and forests green up with spring, that will reduce the wildfire threat.

Tuesday, one of the biggest wildfires in Southwest Georgia burned over 395 acres in Decatur County.

posted at 3:25 PM by jimw@walb.com