Fox Mountain Fire Rages On

Julie Hailey Clark took this dramatic picture of the Fox Mountain wildfire Sunday night.

On Monday, the Fox Mountain wildfire in Rising Fawn rages on into a second week. Georgia Forestry Commission Chief Ranger Heath Morton estimated the fire now affects about 12-1500 acres and is only about 30 percent contained.

Morton, speaking by cellphone as he prepared to board a firefighting helicopter--"We're just staying busy," he said--said that the flames had spread into Alabama and that the Alabama Forestry Commission had now joined forces with GFC in battling the flames. He said four bulldozers were being deployed and one helicopter, with another on the way tomorrow.

Morton said that initial problems finding water to be dropped on the fire from the air have now been solved -- the helicopter is dipping from the lake at Johnson's Crook. County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley had last week described GFC's difficulties finding a water supply in a drought-ridden landscape where landowners needed what little water remained on their properties to sustain their livestock.

Rumley was speaking at the Dade County Commission's regular October meeting on Thursday when, ironically, the commission pronounced Oct. 9-15 Fire Prevention Week.

The fire started Oct. 4 as the GFC rangers wound up three days of fighting another wildfire at the opposite end of the county. Morton told The Planet then that with the severity of this year's drought, GFC was expecting a wildfire season of historical proportions.

Caves on Fox Mountain owned by a cave conservation group were closed for recreational visitors this past weekend as cavers from all over the country gathered in the area for their yearly fall "Cave-In" celebration, and the monster bonfire usually lit for that gathering didn't happen this year, either.

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