Lightning sparks wildfires - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lightning sparks wildfires

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June 22, 2006

Sumter County -- It is so dry in South Georgia that afternoon thunderstorms contribute to the danger for wildfires.

Georgia Forestry reports that lightning from Wednesday's afternoon thunderstorms sparked seven wildfires in the Americus district.

There have been 39 wildfires in the last three days in that 18 county district, which stretches from Dougherty County to Upson County.

Foresters worry because this lightning danger is forecast for the next week, with little rain to help. Georgia Forestry Chief Ranger, Sr. Brent McCarty said "We're basically supposed to have the same thing every afternoon, these pop up thunderstorms. A lot of them, especially on the outside edge of them, there is a lot of lightning with little rainfall in them. "

There has been a 30 percent increase in wildfires in Southwest Georgia so far this year. In June 2005 there were 8 wildfires in the Americus District, but so far in June 2006 there have already been 71.     All burning has been burning except for construction and farm work.

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