Clinch County swamp fire finally out - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Clinch County swamp fire finally out

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

CLINCH COUNTY, GA (WALB) -  Thanks to lots of recent rain, a south Georgia swamp fire that burned for months is finally out.

The fire in Clinch County's Arabia Bay started in November.

It burned more than 2,700 acres. 

 Rain came and put out the fire.

"We're glad the rains came the fire's out and there's no more danger to our property," said landowner Clay Tomlinson.

"We haven't seen any smoke since Jan. 10, 2011, hadn't had any smoke problems on highways." said Clinch Co. Chief Ranger Blair Joiner.

Joiner says the swamp has had six inches of rain since Jan first.

"It was stressful during the time for not just us as an agency but for landowners and citizens of this community so we're glad it's out," said Joiner.

Landowner Clay Tomlinson says 200 acres of his timber burned. He says the forestry commission did a good job containing it and it could've been worse.

"It's just not recoverable we cannot do anything with it but try to knock it down and bed it replant it and start back over," said Tomlinson.

With years of budget cuts, the commission expects to see impacts on service delivery. That means it could take them longer to respond to fire calls because of fewer resources like people and vehicles and fire could grow before they get there. The commission is prepared for more cuts in fiscal year 2012.

 "That's just going to cause more problems make more homewners homes properties threatened because the Georgia Forestry Comission can't do their job efficiently," said Tomlinson.

Rangers expect an active fire season.

In dry conditions just one spark could start a wildfire.

So be careful when you burn outdoors and hopefully we won't have another one any time soon.

Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set and need you're help. If you have helpful information, you should call the Georgia Forestry Commission at 1-800-G-A-TREES. You could get a $10,000 reward.


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