Crews work to control Catoosa Co. debris burn - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Crews work to control Catoosa Co. debris burn

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- A rapidly spreading wild fire makes its way through the storm-ravaged areas of Catoosa County and a Channel 3 camera catches it all.

The fire team is on the ground to protect homes, with the Georgia Forestry Commission in the skies.

This is the very situation the forestry commission wants others in the area to avoid.

"It doesn't take much at all," says Mark Wiles with the Commission. "Just a tiny spark from a debris burn and set it off and it'll burn for quite a while."

Nearly 9,000 acres of storm debris is scattered across Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties.

For the next nine days the forestry division will send people into neighborhoods to warn them.

Chris Chandler has four acres of land and nearly 30 acres of storm debris in his backyard.

A tornado destroyed his home and he isn't taking any chances on having tragedy strike twice.

Part of being "fire wise" is making sure debris is at least 30 feet away from your home.

Chandler says, "One mistake can make the entire ridge catch on fire and you have to be careful. That's why it was important to us to get the trees as far away from the house as we could get them."

A controlled burn approved by the forestry can help prevent fast moving fire, but Catoosa County's rigid landscape makes it virtually impossible to stop the spread.

Wiles says, "It would be very intense and the fire would make it impossible to get a tractor through here where this timber is down."

Click here for more on becoming "fire wise." Or visit the Georgia Forestry Commission for more details.

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