Northwest Georgia under high risk for wildfires
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WDEF) – Northwest Georgia residents are being told to use extreme caution with outdoor fires because of a recent increase in wildfire activity.
According to Georgia Forestry Commission officials, human actions combined with dry weather is keeping fire crews busy throughout Walker, Polk and Whitfield Counties.
Georgia Forestry Commission Incident Commander Tommy Hawkins and his crew of firefighters along with a helicopter crew have been battling a 32-acre brush fire near Highway 157 on Lookout Mountain since Monday night; a fire that is believed to have been the result of a negligent camper.
“It’s believed to be a campfire left unattended. We had investigators in this morning and they started looking into it. We found a spot where a camp fire was so that’s what we’re suspecting at this time, Hawkins said.
The fire has only scorched 32 acres of land but it has been hard for firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze because of the rough vertical terrain.
“It’s real steep, rocky , and rough on the firefighters to build a line with all that rock,” Hawkins said.
Campers are being reminded to make sure their campfire is completely out before leaving a campsite. But that’s not the only warning from authorities. Fire officials are also urging many motorist who smoke to not discard their cigarette butts out the window. That alone has contributed to many brush fires throughout the years.
“Just don’t flip out that lit cigarette. Put that out in your ash tray because with everything being so dry, that one spark is all it could take to start something pretty major,” said Walker County Fire Chief Randy Camp.
Due to extremely dry conditions, the high risk of a wildfires encompasses communities from the Metro Atlanta area all the way into the into the Tennessee Valley.