Wednesday, November 8, 2023–7:16 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
There is a possibility that we could get some much-needed rain this weekend, but until then, the Rome-Floyd County Fire Department and the Georgia Forestry Commission are asking the public to refrain from outdoor burning.
Wildfires have been on the increase in recent days in Northwest Georgia, and a few of them have been in Floyd County.
“Right now, we have warm temperatures with low humidity, and we do have higher winds for this time of year,” said Rome-Floyd County Fire Chief Troy Brock. “Fires can get away from you in a hurry. I have spoken with the chief forest ranger for this area, and we are working on the idea of enforcing a burn ban. However, we are going to monitor the weather for this weekend, because we do have some rain that is coming in. We’ll see what we get and go from there.”
Brock added that he doesn’t want to implement a burn ban since the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s annual summer burn ban has just ended, but they will do what’s best for the community. He stressed the importance of not leaving fire unattended because if it spreads to another person’s property, it is your responsibility.
“The problem we have experienced with most of the fires we have gone that have gotten out of control is unattended fires,” he said. “Do not leave them. They may look like they are out, but the winds can reignite them and spread them.”
Wildfires have occurred on Barker Road, and most recently in the Big Texas Valley Road area.
Editors note: It should be noted that WRGA’s previous report that the Big Texas Valley fire had occurred at the Farm wedding venue was incorrect. The fire occurred in the area near the venue but not at the venue itself. It is currently under investigation by the Rome-Floyd Fire Department.
“That one is still under investigation, as far as a cause,” Brock said. “It burned down an outbuilding and a vehicle.”
Investigators with the Georgia Forestry Commission have determined that a large wildfire off Highway 157 in Walker County was started by an arsonist.
Investigators are asking for the public’s help with any information related to the person or people responsible for this and any other fires. The Georgia Arson Control Program offers rewards of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist. Anyone with knowledge of the incident(s) should contact the GFC at 1-800-GA-TREES (428-7337). For information about wildfire safety and fire risks in your county, go to GaTrees.org or call the local GFC office.