Dade Continues to Burn; Prayer Meetings Organized to Bring Rain

The Georgia Forestry Commission and all of Dade County's volunteer fire departments continue to fight wildfires on Lookout Mountain on Tuesday morning, and County Executive Ted Rumley reported at about 11 a.m. that a house in Tatum Gulf had caught fire. New Salem volunteers were responding, he said.

Rumley could not say for sure if the house fire was definitely caused by the Tatum Gulf/Cloverdale wildfire that has kept firefighters hopping day and night this past week, but he said it was in the same area where firefighters had been building firebreaks and that he assumed the two events were not unrelated.

The Planet will report details as they emerge.

Meanwhile, GFC media officer Seth Hawkins reported, also Tuesday morning, that the Tatum Gulf/Cloverdale wildfire is currently at 2000 acres with only 10 percent containment and a total fire acreage of 3,200 predicted. There are some road closures in the immediate area and GFC asks the public to refrain from driving though to spectate.

An evacuation order for the Lookout Highlands subdivision is still in effect and Hawkins says the current plan is to allow residents back into their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. He said no structure damage was expected--but this was before the report of the house fire cited above.

Again, shelters for evacuees have been set up at Trenton United Methodist Church and New Salem Community Center on Lookout Mountain. Supplies for the firefighters and for the shelters are being accepted there and at Food Outlet and KWN in Trenton. For more on those efforts, reader may visit a new Facebook page called Dade County Wildfires.

GFC reported also that the Creek Road Fire on Lookout Mountain is currently at 100 acres--150 expected before the end--and almost completely contained. The one home in the area is not expected to sustain structural damage. "We are working on cleaning up fire breaks and maintaining containment," said Hawkins. He reported on Monday afternoon that firefighters were mopping up a renewed outbreak of fire on Fox Mountain.

Hawkins said, also on Monday afternoon, that he was bewildered by local tales of arson in these fires, that GFC is investigating no such cases as far as he knows.

The fires continue to dominate life in Dade. The air is smoky, an outdoor burning ban is in place, and at Monday night's Trenton City Commission Mayor Alex Case was absent, off fighting fire.

Meanwhile, Amanda Clark of DADE FIRST/Family Connection, announced public meetings tonight and Thursday night at 6 p.m. on the Trenton town square in which people of faith will come together to pray for rain.

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