Drought like conditions threatens surrounding counties


CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga – Dried up trees is just part of the picture of Georgia and they’re threatening nearby counties with recent dangerous weather conditions.

“We can have a fire anywhere,” David Duke, a Chief Ranger with Georgia Forestry Commission, said. “In the right conditions you can have a devastating fire.”

Images from the fire in Tennessee Monday night are just an example of how severe drought conditions can get. Hundreds of homes destroyed from the roaring flames.

Duke said we’re in the clear right now, but a few more weeks without rain will increase Chatham County and surrounding counties drought status.

“Right now along the coast the threat of wildfires is still low to moderate because of Hurricane Matthew we are as far as wild land fuels still the wettest area in the state,” Duke said. “However, it’s drying out.”

And Georgia is no stranger to these types of conditions.

“In 2011 we had one of the worst fires seasons in our history,” Duke said. “In 2007 the same thing. We’re not immune to that type of fire behavior down on the coast. We just pray for rain and hope that it doesn’t happen.”

Especially for those areas that are South of Chatham County.

“You see a little more southern; Liberty County, McIntosh County, Long County, Effingham, Bulloch kind of surrounding Savannah,” Duke said.

But there are ways you can help prevent fires like this.

“Be careful with fire. It’s just like what we always say with campfires, leaf piles, with smoking, with grilling, with dumping the hot ashes from the stove,” Duke said.

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