June 22, 2007
The Georgia Forestry Commission has announced that the south Georgia wildfires are more than 98% contained. Georgia Forestry Commission personnel and firefighters will continue to work on emergency repairs, securing containment lines and extinguishing hot spots.
After burning together, the Sweat Farm Road, Big Turnaround Complex and Florida Bugaboo fires formed a combined fire of more than 580,000 acres which is bigger than the area inside the perimeter of Atlanta. At the peak of its activity, more than 1,500 personnel were working to control the south Georgia wildfires. Preliminary estimates show that $43 million will be needed to pay for fire suppression efforts.
“We will be working with landowners to evaluate individual timber loss, assist with salvage operations and develop long term mitigation and recovery plans,” said Robert Farris, Interim Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. “We estimate that more than $48 million of timber has been lost since the fires began in April.”
In a typical year, Georgia has approximately 8,000 wildfires which burn 40,000 acres. However, since July 1, 2006, over 9,200 wildfires have burned approximately 520,000 acres.
For more information on forestry and wildfire recovery, visit the Georgia Forestry Commission’s web site at www.gatrees.org.