Small fires cause big problems in Lowndes County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Small fires cause big problems in Lowndes County

Georgia resident must obtain a burn permit before lighting fires on their property. (Source: WALB) Georgia resident must obtain a burn permit before lighting fires on their property. (Source: WALB)
According to the county ordinance, open burning i only allowed on the first and third Saturday of each month. (Source: WALB) According to the county ordinance, open burning i only allowed on the first and third Saturday of each month. (Source: WALB)
Dry weather conditions can cause small fires to turn into big problems. (Source: WALB) Dry weather conditions can cause small fires to turn into big problems. (Source: WALB)
Reno Bryan, property burned in fire (Source: WALB) Reno Bryan, property burned in fire (Source: WALB)
Lowndes County public information officer Paige Dukes (Source: WALB) Lowndes County public information officer Paige Dukes (Source: WALB)
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -

"I couldn't wrap myself together at that moment because I've never seen nothing like that," Reno Bryan describes the moment he saw his property going up in flames. 

On Saturday, October 22 Reno Byron lit a small fire that quickly got out of control. It was one of two fires in Lowndes County this weekend to do so.

Now, Lowndes County officials want to make sure residents know the rules before starting any fires. 

"It started right over here," explained Byron, "Just a little bitty bag that I had. I was doing some house cleaning."

Byron was lighting what was supposed to be a small fire, but that small fire caused an enormous amount of damage.  
Burnt trees and grass show just how far the fire was able to travel. What used to be a mobile home is now a pile of debris.

"Real quick. I never thought it would move that fast," Byron described seeing the fire, "But the wind got in it and it just took it." 

He said he lit the small fire and got distracted. Within minutes the fire began blazing through the property. 

"Almost like the world was on fire. When I seen that it was just shocking. Just smoke and fire everywhere," remembered Byron.

However, one small thing could have saved this property, a burn permit. 

"You've got to have that permit before you burn at all," said Lowndes County public information officer Paige Dukes.

Byron said he didn't realize he needed a permit for a small fire. 
If he would have tried to get one over the weekend, he wouldn't have been able to due to weather conditions. 

"There was wind and the humidity was extremely low," explained Dukes.

Luckily, no one was injured. The mobile home that burned down was used for storage and no one was in it at the time. 

"I just thank God because it could have been way worse," Byron said.

Lowndes County officials said they want to make sure other people don't make the same mistake. Burning without a permit could result in fines or even jail time. 

Byron told WALB he learned his lesson. 

"Next time anybody burns, just be careful and make sure you get a permit," said Byron, "I will be doing that! Believe me!"

You can apply for burn permit on the Georgia Forestry Website. It is free. There are also guidelines you must follow while burning a fire. 

Along with needing a burn permit, Lowndes County residents must also follow the County's burn ordinance

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly