Fox Mountain Fire Under Control, but Firefighters Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop

Ted Rumley II's shot of the Fox blaze last week.

The Georgia Forestry Commission wrapped up firefighting operations on the Fox Mountain wildfire in Rising Fawn on Wednesday, judging it "90 percent contained," which is to say that GFC rangers continue to monitor it daily but that the flames are largely out and the 70-plus firefighters deployed there have moved on to another fire near Cartersville, Ga.

GFC information officer Seth Hawkins, who had returned to his home office in Athens, Ga., said by phone on Friday that the fire had ended up consuming 2083 acres on Fox, 815 of those in Alabama, and that some Alabama acreage was continuing to smolder when operations closed down on Wednesday.

But in Trenton, GFC rangers are not expecting any reprieve in what for them is just the beginning of the wildfire season. "This is the tip of the iceberg," said Ranger Ted Rumley II by phone from the Trenton office.

He said Thursday night's rain, though long awaited, had not amounted to much--a tenth of an inch at the office--and was not expected to be a lot of help controlling fires locally. "It didn't do anything for us," said Rumley. "It just knocked the leaves off the trees, setting us up for the potential of a reburn."

He explained that typically, the wildfire season doesn't start in this area until after two hard frosts, generally later in November, perhaps, or December. The fact that it started in October this year is an ominous sign as to what may ensue. "It doesn't look good for the home front," said Rumley.

He said that GFC task forces were deployed around the northwest Georgia area poised to respond quickly to the next blaze.

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