Drought a factor in new North Georgia fire


The fires that were raging earlier this week in Floyd County are under control, an official said. But persistent drought conditions contributed to a new blaze in North Georgia.

A fire broke out Thursday on Rocky Face Mountain in Whitfield County, Wendy Burnett of the Georgia Forestry Commission said. The location is “remote,” Burnett said, and fire crews had to hike into the area.

Crews were still fighting the fire Friday afternoon and had not had time to investigate the cause, the Dalton Daily Citizen reported. It covered about 20 acres.

No residents had to evacuate, according to WTVC Channel 9 in Chattanooga.

“Drought is a huge factor right now,” Burnett said. “There is a lot of ‘fuel’ on the forest floor right now, and now, it’s like kindling.

“We’re seeing fires from causes we don’t typically see.”

The fires in Floyd County are now under control, according to a Georgia Forestry Commission official. (Credit: Rome News-Tribune)

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She said crews are “mopping up” the Floyd County fires, which covered about 55 acres. The fires, among a dozen that broke out Tuesday in North Georgia, damaged two homes, caused evacuations and destroyed a garage with four classic cars, officials said.

Burnett said officials are investigating the Floyd fire.

On Friday, the drought conditions prompted officials in Paulding County to extend their outdoor burn ban indefinitely, according to a statement. The National Weather Service warned that humidity and rain conditions are unlikely to improve in the long range, Paulding officials said.

Burn bans also exist in Cobb and Douglas counties.