Rain is not enough to suppress wildfire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rain is not enough to suppress wildfire

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

CLINCH COUNTY, GA (WALB) –The DOT expects low road visibility again Wednesday and Thursday morning in an area near a south Georgia wildfire but for the first time since the fire started a week ago, the area got some rain Tuesday.

Unfortunately, it's not enough to do much to suppress the fire.

It remains contained inside the Arabia Bay swamp in Clinch County but to be safe, crews are working to protect a community north of the swamp.

Thick smoke and rain cover a portion of the Arabia Bay swamp where the fire continues to burn. Denise Croker rakes through peat and sand to show us how deep the rain is penetrating.

"The peat's burning four to six to eight feet so as you saw while ago it's going down an eighth of an inch, not doing a whole lot for our ground fire," said Denise Croker with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

But Croker says the rain has cooled off the bay a little bit.

The rain we're getting Tuesday is giving firefighters a little bit of a break, however we would need six to eight inches of steady rain to help suppress the fire."

"As long as the humidity is up that keeps the smoke on the ground and it does generate more smoke in this type of weather," said Croker.

While rangers don't expect the fire will reach the Mizell community north of the swamp, they've been prepping that area and handing out educational material to people who live there like Mary Arnold.

"The way the wind picks up at times sometimes it kind of gets you concerned but the firebreaks and all I think that's good," said Arnold.

In the mornings, she can barely see the homes across from her house.

"We took a turning plow and plowed around our field," said Arnold. "You know if it hits the field, it would burn quite a bit because the field is might dry too."

As the fire continues charring hundreds of acres, rangers are hoping for a lot of rain. They also urge people to stay away from smoke-covered roads.

So far, 847 acres of swampland has burned.

The wildfire could end up charring all 5,000 acres of the swamp.

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