Firefighters keep bad situation from getting worse

Published 4:00 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

Earlier this week, in one 24-hour period, there were two large wood fires near Hogansville.

The first was near Lincoln Street, which is full of residences. Thankfully, the fire burned away from homes, but did jump a ravine and forced the Troup County Fire Department to call in the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The fire department is equipped for just about everything, but the forestry commission regularly fights fires in the woods and has the equipment to handle severe fires. A helicopter was used to drop thousands of gallons of water on the fire, which was contained overnight and put out by lunch the next day.

Unfortunately, in the midst of providing help for that fire, the commission discovered a second fire just miles away on Old Hammett Road. It’s unclear just how long that fire had been going, but it likely started at least half a day before the Lincoln Street blaze, if not more.

The fire burned down a shed behind a home as well as more than a dozen acres of land. Thankfully, it didn’t affect any homes, although it got dangerously close to the house it started behind. According to the forestry commission, the fire started when a debris fire wasn’t properly extinguished.

If it could be determined who started that fire, it’s likely that person would face several charges.

Both of these instances are a reminder of the importance of fire safety. Fires should be cool to the touch when they are put out, and no fire should ever be left unattended. It’s also illegal to burn man-made items, such as soda cans, so take note of that before doing it in your yard.

The threat of a fire will only grow as summer nears and everything dries out even further. The annual summer burn ban will be in place in Georgia from May 1-Sept. 30, so take note of that as well.

Either of these fires could have been disastrous and could have taken someone’s life, if not for the great work of the Troup County Fire Department and Georgia Forestry Commission. That work is not easy and is often not appreciated. We’d like to take a moment and say thank you to both groups. You kept a bad situation from potentially getting much worse.