Local fire crews help set back fires in north Georgia to protect homes

Firefighters with Walton County Fire Rescue head into the smoke in north Georgia Nov. 18, 2016 to help fight the fires. Photo Credit: WCFR firefighter Clay McCullough.
Firefighters with Walton County Fire Rescue head into the smoke in north Georgia Nov. 18, 2016 to help fight the fires. Photo Credit: WCFR firefighter Clay McCullough.

As local firefighters from Walton County Fire Rescue and the City of Monroe continue rotating out firefighters to help battle the wildfires in north Georgia in a second day of deployments, local crews from WCFR began staging this morning in Tate City, Ga. just west of the wildfire location.

“The fire has now consumed over 9,000 acres according to Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland,” said Capt. Jeff Allen with WCFR.

WCFR Battalion Chief Craig League said with winds expecting to shift later today and into tomorrow, there are some 75 homes threatened and local crews are helping protect those homes.

“Forestry is setting some back fires today in preparation,” League said.

Allen said official are concerned about the forecasted 20-30 mph winds that are predicted for tonight and into Saturday.

Tate City, Ga. Photo credit: Google Earth
Tate City, Ga. Photo credit: Google Earth

The winds picked up and are very unpredictable in those canyons and mountains. If you look up the area of Tate city on google earth you will see the depth of the access problem. It is very very isolated – one road in and one out. Miles of wilderness on either side, which is where the fire is,” Allen said. “They are extremely concerned about tomorrow. Winds to pick up, humidity to drop even lower than it is now. The back burning today is kind of a ‘preemptive strike.’ If it has to burn, they want to control the direction of the fire and do it under controlled settings and the relatively more favorable conditions of today.”

Firefighters with Walton County Fire Rescue staging at Tate City, Ga. Nov. 18, 2016 to help fight the wildfires. Photo Credit: WCFR firefighter Clay McCullough.
Firefighters with Walton County Fire Rescue staging at Tate City, Ga. Nov. 18, 2016 to help fight the wildfires. Photo Credit: WCFR firefighter Clay McCullough.

Allen said, however, for those concerned about  local firefighters heading into the burn zone, they are being very well treated by the local residents who are “some of the nicest human beings” he has ever met.

“Very gracious hosts, from the fire department, the church members where we stage, and the community at large. We didn’t pay for meals, the volunteer firemen would stop by on their lunch breaks and after work from their day jobs just to check up on the mutual aid teams. Great people,” he said.
Crews setting backfires up the mountain in Tate City. Credit Firefighter Clay McCullough
Crews setting backfires up the mountain in Tate City. Credit Firefighter Clay McCullough
Here in Walton County, fire officials continue to ensure that the fire risk is kept to a minimum with a total outdoor Burn Ban being instituted until conditions improve. The dry conditions have resulted in a Fire Emergency being called in many areas, including Walton County. The area is also currently under a Level 2 Drought with water restrictions being instituted. What the local area needs is much the same as what is desperately needed in the North Georgia Mountains and the surrounding states that are also battling rampant wildfires – rain, plenty of rain.
About Sharon Swanepoel 4223 Articles
Sharon Swanepoel is the Publisher and Editor of Monroe Local.
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2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Local firefighters move across state line to help fight fires in North Carolina – Loganville Local News
  2. Local firefighters recognized for helping fight north Georgia wild fires – Monroe Local News

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