Firefighters from across Georgia deploy to fight wildfires
An orange glow reflects off the soot covered faces of firefighters. Through smoke, they ignite a line of flames with each step.
An orange glow reflects off the soot covered faces of firefighters.
Through smoke, they ignite a line of flames with each step.
Georgia Forestry crews use the overnight hours to burn areas like this on purpose.
Controlled burns protect homes on Lookout Mountain. This area of Dade County is where two fires merged into one burning more than 1300 acres.
Firefighters use the daylight to do work like this, moving anything away that could catch homes on fire.
"We're taking backpack blowers and we're blowing all the leaves and pine needles, anything that we think might burn and we're trying to blow out about a 60 foot circle around every structure," Charles Price with Georgia Department of Corrections Fire Services said.
The Georgia Forestry Commission has deployed more than 170 firefighters to north Georgia to fight dozens of fires.
They work 12 hours shifts with local and volunteer departments making sure the flames don't get too close.
"A lot of them come in scared to death and it is a volunteer program, they have to volunteer. We don't force any of them to be in it," Price added.
This group is with the state's corrections program.
These non-violent offenders are hand picked and trained to fight house fires, wildfires and vehicle extradition.
"They start responding to the calls in the community and they start seeing what it's like to help people that in the past they had probably hurt due to their crimes or whatever caused them to get incarcerated," he added.
After serving their time, some even continue their careers as first responders, helping reduce the chance of landing back behind bars.
And to Price, that's a battle in itself.