Wildfire season hasn't started yet? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wildfire season hasn't started yet?

April 30, 2007

Waycross -- The 79,000 acre fire in Ware County is just one of more than seven thousand wildfires the Georgia Forestry Commission has fought since July; a drastic increase over the five year average.

About 120,000 acres have burned this year, three times as much as years past.
And the bad news is, wildfire season has yet to officially begin.
Usually about this time, the Georgia Forestry Commission is gearing up for wildfire season, which typically begins each May.

But this year they've already been fighting fires for months. "But we actually started in March this year and we of course carried into April so extreme dry conditions are occurring now which is well early into our fire occurrences months,"said Buck Kline of the Forestry Commission. 

Foresters have been battling over 900 wildfires across the state in the month of April alone due to those dry conditions.  And next month isn't looking any better. "It looks like dry conditions are going to continue for the incident as well as Southern Georgia," said John Pendergrast, Incident Meteorologist. 

But South Georgians aren't the only ones facing the threat of fire.

"It could happen in the surrounding states in the southeast unless we get some rain.  Especially the  Georgia and Florida area where the dryness that's been on the extreme levels," Pendergrast said.

And mother nature has yet to step in. "These wildfires won't see any relief.  It looks like there could be some rain but no significant rains are seen."

At least not anytime soon.  "Any significant rainfall will have to wait until tropical depressions season, hurricane season comes in," said Kline.
So foresters are now preparing for the long haul, knowing as summer heats up-- their jobs will too.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is banning all burn permits until we get some rain.
And you should use extreme caution when grilling or dealing with any type of fire because of the extremely dry weather. 

And late Monday afternoon, the Georgia Forestry Commission issued a press release in which arson is name a possible cause of some of the wildfire problem: There have been several suspicious fires [The Sweat Farm Road and Big Turnaround] started in Ware and Charlton Counties. The Georgia Forestry Commission has requested an arson investigation team investigate these fires.

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