The moon rises above Fox Wednesday evening as the mountain continues to spew smoke. Firefighters now expect the wildfire to continue until we have "significant rain." (photo by
The Fox Mountain wildfire has now consumed about 1700 acres, reported Georgia Forestry Commission Information Officer Joanna Warren on Thursday morning, and that total is expected to get up to 18- or 1900 before the fat lady sings.
Ms. Warren said the GFC is still working with firefighters from the Alabama Forestry Commission and the U.S. Forest Service to control the flames. A hand crew and helicopter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs had to move on, said Ms. Warren, but the Department of Natural Resources had now sent a replacement 'copter to help in the fight. The workforce is down to about 70, she said, but they are keeping busy.
On the agenda for today is a "strategic firing operation," said Ms. Warren. This, she explained, basically means burning off areas before the fire can get to them. "This helps to keep keep the fire from picking up momentum again," she said.
She said that the fire is still only about 40 percent contained, the same estimate as yesterday. "It's tough, it really is," said Ms. Warren. The bone-dryness of the landscape weighs the odds heavily against the firefighters and in favor of the wildfire. "It's probably going to go until we get some significant rain," said Ms. Warren.
Ms. Warren warned residents to stay clear of the wildfire. "We have our PPE--personal protective equipment--to keep us safe," she said. "But whenever people get close to the fireline, they're in danger."
And she also reminded them that conditions are perfect for new wildfires. "We are encouraging people to be as careful about burning as possible," she said, "not to burn outside at all if they don't have to."