Wildfires continue to torch Georgia amid drought

Hundreds of wildfires continue to burn across the state, and there’s no rain in sight.

The Georgia Forestry Commission responded to 170 wildfires between Friday morning and 10:40 a.m. Monday, said Wendy Burnett, spokeswoman for the commission.

Georgia has experienced drought conditions for the past several weeks, and the dryness has spread to the vast majority of the state.

The worst fire remains in Fannin County. Nearly 4,000 acres have burned in the Rough Ridge area of the Cohutta Wilderness.

In metro Atlanta, one fire was reported in DeKalb County on Friday and one in south Fulton County on Saturday. A fire in Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County has burned since Saturday. About one acre of the hiking and walking trail burned. As of Sunday, it was 90 percent contained.

A fire on Rocky Face Mountain in Whitfield County, which began last week, has burned 386 acres.

“Rocky Face is contained, but will continue to smoke and smolder for a while to come. We continue to monitor it,” Burnett said.

A fire on Lookout Mountain on the Georgia-Tennessee border has been contained, but it will also continue to smoke and smolder until rain comes, she said.

But there is no rain in the forecast this week, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz.

With dry, sunny weather expected to continue, GFC will send a fire prevention team to the northern part of the state this week.

The number of fires has been increasing steadily since July, with more than 900 burning last month. That’s up 200 percent since September.

Residents are asked to clear debris from roofs, gutters and porches and keep lawns trimmed and watered to prevent fires from spreading.

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