Dry weather prompts spread of fires - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dry weather prompts spread of fires

June 12, 2006

Colquitt County - Although no one wants a hurricane to hit, there could be one much needed benefit from the system, rain.  If the storm stays on its projected path, most of our area would avoid a direct hit from Alberto, but we may see a several inches of rain and that's more than we've seen in a while.  Forest rangers say that's good news.  

Black clouds rolling into South Georgia, are normally an ominous sign, but on Monday these clouds are welcome company.  "Generally this time of year, we're getting rain. Showers, half an inch of rain a week, and its good growing season. Nothing's really growing right now," says Chief Colquitt County Ranger Denny Sellers. 

He hopes that will change with Alberto. He wants to see the skies open back up again.  Sellers says, "In normal conditions, water would be out here in this. You can tell by the vegetation that grow in the area, that it would be a normal wet area." But not now.

On Sunday, a wildfire was sparked when a landowner made a careless decision.  Sellers says, "The landowner said that it got started, he was riding a four-wheeler through here and he stopped in the area, threw his cigarette down, so it took off from that."

And a day later, the fire is still burning. "Still got some live fire in it," says Sellers.  "That's the reason we have to monitor them everyday, as dry as the condition's are." Especially since there's a house within yards of the fire.  He says, "The under story goes right up to the edge of the house, so there's a good possibility that this landowner could have lost the house."

But he hopes the possibilities now, are for rain. Burn permits are not being issued to anyone by the forestry department. If you burn and cause a wildfire, you will be fined.

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