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.
“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.”
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.