Fire season begins in Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fire season begins in Georgia

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

November 16, 2008

Dougherty County, GA (WALB) - All it takes is one ember to blow into a brush for a fire to ignite. And rangers say this is the time of year when that is most likely to happen.

"Once you have low humidity, there is no moisture in the air. And that will make the fire burn more intense. And the wind will carry the fire faster," said Chief Forest Ranger for Dougherty County, Deanna Pietras.

And these conditions will continue for the next several months. "We are now in fire season. This is the time of year where we get front after front. We already had frost on the ground which killed vegetation and that is fuel for a fire."

The damage from these fires can be devastating and costly. "You are looking at homes. You are looking at the property around your home. You are also looking at lives. You never can tell who is out there and get trapped by the fire. And of course the actual danger to the firefighters," said Pietras.

And is why they are warning all homeowners to be especially careful. "Call your local forestry unit to get burning conditions before they ever light the match." Burning without a permit is against the law in Georgia.

"When you call our offices, we can tell you what the weather is doing, what the fire danger is and whether or not it is safe for you to conduct a burn," said Pietras. And getting a permit only takes a matter of minutes. "It's just a verbal number you get over the telephone."

But is the only time you need to help save yours or your neighbors lives from a fire.

Rangers say homeowners should burn 50 feet away from any structures and should never leave yard debris burning unattended. They also advise homeowners to have a water hose running in case of any emergencies.

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