Dry weather puts south GA at high risk for wildfires - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dry weather puts south GA at high risk for wildfires

There is a high risk of wildfires in south Georgia because of the recent dry weather in the area. (Source: WALB) There is a high risk of wildfires in south Georgia because of the recent dry weather in the area. (Source: WALB)
Twenty five acres of pine trees burned last week in a wildfire in Lee County. (Source: WALB) Twenty five acres of pine trees burned last week in a wildfire in Lee County. (Source: WALB)
The damage spanned across three different people's properties. (Source: WALB) The damage spanned across three different people's properties. (Source: WALB)
Ranger 2 Clay Ferguson with the Forestry Commission (Source: WALB) Ranger 2 Clay Ferguson with the Forestry Commission (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Cooler weather is coming, but that may not reduce the fire danger in south Georgia.

The recent dry weather means a high wildfire risk.

Twenty five acres of pine trees burned last week in a wildfire in Lee County, the damage spanned across three different people's properties.

"It burnt pretty evenly along the ground," said Ranger 2 Clay Ferguson with the Forestry Commission.

The damage, and smell of ash was still present off highway 377 in Lee County on Thursday.

"You can see the height of the flame lengths," said Ferguson.

Last Monday, it took the fire department and the Forestry Commission four and half hours to contain the wildfire.

But it wasn't the only one.

"This is kind of our driest time of year, and you add in a previous drought that we already have, it's adding up to some hazardous fire activity," explained Ferguson.

10 wildfires this month in Dougherty and Lee counties have scorched nearly 40 acres of property.

Right now, the Forestry Commission isn't issuing burn permits at all, with the exception for special cases of property owners working to clear land.

"A fair amount of them happen along the roadside, from maybe a piece of equipment sparking, or something like that," said Ferguson.

With south Georgia expecting cooler temperatures to come in this weekend, you might think the fire hazard would go down, but that's not necessarily the case.

"Our humidity is starting to drop this time of year. There's really small amounts of moisture in the air," explained Ferguson.

Until the area receives significant rain, the upward trend of wildfires is only expected to continue going up.

The Forestry Commission and fire departments are asking people to take extra precaution to prevent this from happening to residents.

If the Forestry Commission responds to a fire caused by an illegal burn, they can issue suppression charges.

The cause of the Lee County fire is still under investigation.

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.

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