Summer lightning and thunderstorms bring on south GA wildfires - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Summer lightning and thunderstorms bring on south GA wildfires

Wildfires may now be a concern for south GA residents (Source: WALB) Wildfires may now be a concern for south GA residents (Source: WALB)
The forestry commission has worked with rangers to help fight the fires (Source: WALB) The forestry commission has worked with rangers to help fight the fires (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The forestry commission was busy in southwest Georgia, but not because of fires in the district.

Wildfires have destroyed hundreds of acres in areas north and east of Albany. Forest rangers from southwest Georgia continue to help crews fight the fires.

It was a slow time of year for the Southern Flint District of the Georgia Forestry Commission, which covers counties in the southwestern part of the state.

"After everything greens up in the Spring, everybody's done with their prescribed burning for the most part. We do have some lightning strikes, but if the vegetation's green, due to rain, we're generally safer than southeast Georgia," said Chief Ranger Jason Rex.

Rex explains that's not the case for southeast Georgia. They're actually at a greater risk for wildfires.

"Southeast Georgia can experience a lot more wildfire activity because of lightning  strikes this time of year from isolated thunderstorms that don't provide enough rainfall to really stop those fires," said Rex.

Rex says employees from his district have assisted with 12 fires in eastern Georgia in the Satilla district since the beginning of July.

Eleven of the fires were caused by lightning strikes. The fires ranged in size from very small, to nearly 500 acres.

Everyone from the Flint District has returned home, but they another strike team was assembled for the weekend to help with possible wildfire activity in the district.

"It's been a good thing for us and it's a good thing for them too. We enjoy helping other parts of the state," said Rex.

Rex says prescribed burning is not common around the area during this time of year, so make sure to call 911 if you see black smoke and the fire isn't being monitored.

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