Flames kept from drought-stricken woods during massive house fir - CBS46 News

Flames kept from drought-stricken woods during massive house fire

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File photo of wildfire (Source: WGCL) File photo of wildfire (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Firefighters had to bring in reinforcements to get the upper-hand and stop flames from a huge house fire in Forsyth County from spreading to the surrounding drought-stricken woods.

Firefighters across Georgia are on heightened alert because of the drought.

“We automatically send a wild land response, and automatically call on the Georgia Forestry Commission to send their resources, including a tractor unit and a fixed wind aircraft,” Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers explained to CBS46 about the department’s increased response to fires during the drought.

“It is one of the worst seasons that I have seen in my 18 years here…the first few inches of leaf fall that is on the ground around these woods is very, very tender,” Shivers added.

With 30-foot flames topping tree-tops, firefighters took no chances. They built a fire break around the house to keep flames from the surrounding woods.

“We were able to get a handle on it and keep in contained to about 2 acres,” Shivers stated.

Firefighters reported a neighbor on Wallace Tatum Road spotted the fire and called 911. The family of six was not home when it started. Firefighters still aren't sure what caused this fire that is still under investigation.

Shivers contended the drought made the fire difficult to fight and conditions may only get worse.

“It is going to continue to be a problem possibly even through the New Year. There is no significant rain on the horizon so it does concern us,” Shivers said.

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DROUGHT IN GEORGIA
BY THE NUMBERS

Days without measurable rainfall

40+ days

Acres burned in Georgia

~33,000

Population in drought areas

8.7 million