Fire danger eases for many: Mr. Sweat saw it all... - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire danger eases for many: Mr. Sweat saw it all...

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April 24, 2007


Ware County -- At the start of the fire 390 homes in Ware County were in the fire's footprint, or could have been in harms way.  Only 18 structures were destroyed.  Many structures were protected or saved as a result of efforts from local fire departments, but with shifting winds the danger seems to have past for many homeowners.

"If the winds can continue from the south we're good, the south is basically actually making the fire work for itself, it's actually having to push against the wind, which slows the fire down substantially and starts a backing fire," said Eric Mosley of the GA Forestry Commission.

Another town hall meeting is being held Thursday at 7:00 p.m. for residents with questions about the fire or for those who want more information. A location has not yet been chosen.

We've told you before that the fire started last Monday when a small tree fell and hit a power line near Sweat Farm Road, and 74-year-old Ernest Sweat was there when it happened. He and a neighbor tried to put it out with bulldozers, after they called 911.

Sweat says the vegetation around was so dry that it spread extremely fast.  It burned grass, jumped large roads and fields, and seemed to take on a life of its own.

"They had gotten it stopped about halfway to the field.  But then it had jumped my fields into the other block at least 75 yards.  And on the other side of the field, it dropped down and started again."

Firefighters say this fire has been anything but typical.   They say it has spread on the smallest grass or straw and jumped large areas, and it has burned the same areas up to three times, when a normal fire will only burn through once.   

Those are some of the many reasons this fire has been so hard to contain.

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