UPDATE: Georgia fires continue to burn at alarming rate
By WRCB Staff
UPDATE: Tuesday's update from the Georgia Forestry Commission says that there were 28 fires reported Monday. Two of the fires were small enough to be handled by local the local Fire Departments, but 26 required efforts by Georgia Forestry teams, in addition to ongoing fires that require GFC resources.
A fire from three weeks ago has been found smoldering required GFC personnel to start monitoring it to ensure it remains contained. The seasonal leaf fall is exceptionally heavy due to drought and fire, and fire crews continue their efforts to keeping fire breaks clear.
The Fox Mountain Fire is seeing increased activity on the Alabama side and Georgia Forestry continues to monitor the fire, and will act accordingly if the need arises. Fire breaks are continuously cleared to keep falling leaves from accruing within the breaks and are being widened if needed.
The Rocky Face Mountain Fire and the Lookout Mountain Fire continues to be monitored by GFC personnel. Both fires are holding within the established lines. As is the case with other ongoing fires, these are being monitored and the fires' behavior will dictate necessary actions.
The Georgia Forestry Commission expects erratic fire behavior and long flame lengths to continue due to increased winds and the ongoing drought conditions.
Many counties within the north Georgia area have enacted county-wide burn bans and area residents are asked to please restrict burning activities until conditions improve.
Officials say they are seeing fires started by hot cars, tractors and equipment being parked in grassy areas.
PREVIOUS STORY: Monday marked yet another day of wildfires around the Tennessee Valley.
On Monday, the Georgia Forestry Commission said there were 19 new fires logged into their system Sunday, with one fire Monday morning.
The Rocky Face Mountain fire is still holding within the containment lines. Crews continue to monitor the fire for interior burning as well as smoke issues that might be present.
The Rough Ridge fire in the Cohutta Wilderness Area on the Chattahoochee National Forest has burned 3,923 acres, and is attributed to lightning.
It is considered to be 10% contained as of 10:00am Monday morning.
The entire Cohutta Wilderness area is closed, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
They advise that area residents should continue to be aware of their surroundings and be mindful of possible falling trees and rolling debris.
Potential for a re-burn to occur as leaves continue to drop in areas that are still hot, starting new fires with the newly fallen fuel.
The North Georgia area is now 18" below normal for rainfall, and there is a 65% probability that fires will continue on through the fall into spring with the same intensity and ferocity that we are currently seeing.
Firefighters are steadily working to remove snags and debris along the fire breaks, they are continuously monitoring and clearing fire breaks from leaf fall, and adjusting fire fighting tactics as needed.
With little rain in sight, crews are continuously re-assessing area needs and resources.