Smoke cloud causes confusion

By Evan Johnson - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -  With the spring weather with the low humidity, it's the perfect recipe for a disastrous fire.

"You can actually stomp on a flame and take your foot away and it would pop right back up so the low humidity and increased winds make it kind of difficult to extinguish the fire," said Ty Haymen with Georgia Forestry Commission.

Residents took note of a big cloud of smoke filling the air earlier in the day, but it turned out to only be a controlled burn by the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.

"The east marsh here hasn't burned in over 20 years and actually the last time it burned was a wildfire and one of the main reasons we burn is to reduce the number of wildfires. We need to reduce the fuels by burning them up and then later on in the spring and summer when we can't control fire, we'll reduce the wildfire," said Russ Webb, Manger of the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.

To prevent fires any fire from getting out of hand, the Georgia Forestry Commission will come out and create a fire brake for landowners.

"This helps the landowner in two ways: they can actually do burning themselves using our brakes and then if someone comes by and maybe they throw a cigarette out or they intentionally set a fire on the edge of the road, then the fire would burn up to the edge of their property to the fire brake and then maybe it would stop it or at least slow it down," said Haymen.

Haymen urges anyone who sees a fire to immediately contact local authorities and not assume that it's a controlled burn.

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