Winter weather more likely to cause wildfires

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Wednesday Jan. 22, 2014


Richmond County (WRDW)- People may think that summer is the prime time for fires but actually winter is the worst.

"We're asking people not to burn and we have the burn permits turned off right now," said Cathy Black with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Black warns if you start a fire anyway, it could cost you big time.

"If you do burn and the fire gets away from you and our personnel have to respond, then you'll be charged with all the equipment and man power to put the fire out," said Black.

That's not cheap. Especially if you're talking helicopters, fire-trucks and, not to mention the fire-fighters.

Black said, "I can put a match on the ground right now and with this little wind that we have I can guarantee you in five minutes that it will burn half way down the road."

A road like McDade Road in Augusta. Monday morning, a small fire there quickly spread to five acres.

Louise Overstreet, the home owner describes what she saw, "The fire was just blazing and blushing up over and over."

Louise Overstreet looked at her charred back yard and is thankful the fire didn't reach her house, but if the winds were stronger she believes her home would not still be standing.

"I really was scared. I ain't going to tell nobody I wasn't scared because I was scared," said Overstreet.

Investigators still don't know what sparked it, and Lieutenant Neal Brown said it's hard to pin point an exact cause in these types of situations.

"The open fields cause concern sometimes because of the sage in the field and the winds. Sometimes it will travel very rapidly faster than you can run," said Brown.

A few things to remember for your safety are it's illegal to burn in a barrel, do not leave a fire unattended, and if you do burn keep a garden hose, rake, or extinguisher close by.