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Friday, June 17, 2011

Today were taking a look at Georgia. And How Do Wildfires Get Named?

The following are the major fires currently burning in Georgia, Virginia resources are assigned to the Honey Prairie Complex. The definition of Complex: Two or more individual incidents located in the same general area which are assigned to a single incident commander or unified command.

Honey Prairie Complex (Okefenokee NWR) 16,487 acres new growth reported. 5 miles NE of Fargo, GA. The fire is being managed by the SA Type 1 Red Team (Wilder) under unified command with Florida Department of Forestry, Georgia Forestry Commission, and USFW. Transition with SA Type 1 Blue Team (Quesinberry) began at 0800 today, June 16th. Comprised of 9 fires. Numerous hot spots. Active burning and high rates of spread in Divisions L, M, and J. New start in Division N for approximately 1,600 acres. Burnout operations in Division M are ongoing. Continue to control, hold and mop-up. 251 residences, 10 commercial properties, and 347 outbuildings threatened. 49% contained.

Racepond (Georgia Forestry Commission) 1,350 acres new growth reported. 10 miles SSE of Waycross, GA. The fire is being managed by a Georgia Forestry Commission Type 3 IMT. Burning in southern rough. Continue to improve lines and mop-up. 90% contained.

Sweat Farm Again (Georgia Forestry Commission) 2,100 acres. 12 miles West of Waycross, GA. Active fire behavior in southern rough with crowning and 1-mile spotting. Made wind-driven runs and threatened local population. 20 residences threatened. 1 residence destroyed. Continue control lines. 20% contained.

Waverly (Georgia Forestry Commission) 600 acres. 3 miles East of Waverly, GA. Burning in southern rough. ½ mile spotting with crown fire yesterday. 10 residences threatened, 2 destroyed. 90% contained.

Rayonier Pasture (Georgia Forestry Commission) 450 acres. 15 miles South of Jesup, GA. Burning in southern rough. Spotting and running. Continue to improve lines and mop-up. 95% contained.

Officials directing operations have decided to let the fire burn inside the swamp and contain it once it reached the boundaries of the 430,000-acre refuge. But at times the fire taxed that strategy riding southerly winds into places officials didn’t want it to go.
Below is a map showing the progression of the Honey Prairie fire:

Honey Prairie: 193,962 acres, 49% contained. Fire activity was high on the Honey Prairie yesterday, on all fronts as the afternoon sea breeze arrived, changing wind directions and speeds. All fire lines held along the east side of the Honey Prairie, as line construction and reinforcement continued with bulldozers and heavy equipment. Strategic firing operations took place in the Kingfisher Landing area, along the Swamp Edge Break. Strategic firing operations also took place ahead of the flanking edges of the fire as needed. The fire along the northeast Swamp Edge Break, called the Sawfly Fire, continued to burn south into the Refuge. In the southwest portion of the fire, fire activity became extreme as the fire jumped the line in the Sapp Prairie area, moving towards the west. The fire stalled as it reached the gum swamp east of Turkey Nest. Line construction continued in preparation for strategic firing operations as necessary. Areas of reburn occurred off Highway 177 in the vicinity of Harpers Hammock, causing several spot fires west of the highway. Crews worked to construct lines around the spots as the fires emerged. Langdale and Superior Pine assisted throughout the evening and night to control the fires.
Below are a few pictures from the Honey Paririe Wildfire.

Fom local landmarks, mostly. The Paxton Paxton Fire started near the top of Paxton Peak, the Purgatory Fire started and burned most of Purgatory Mountain, the Gone Fishing Fire was named by a firefighter who was called to work from a planned day of fishing. In general, naming rights go to the group or individual that makes the "initial attack" on a fire. The commander on the scene often uses a nearby geographical feature to describe the fire, but is not bound by any official rules..
A few years ago firefighters named a Pacific Northwest blaze the Sour Biscuit fire because it was near Sourdough Gulch and Biscuit Creek. It later became part of the much larger Florence fire, which started near the Florence Creek. But authorities backtracked when the mayor of Florence—an unrelated town 100 miles away—complained about the bad publicity. The Florence fire became the Biscuit fire.

One of the worst wildfire disasters in U.S. history, a 1994 blaze that killed 14 firefighters, has become known as the Storm King fire after the mountain where the crew died. Officially, the blaze was known as the South Canyon fire.

 Smokey Bear wants to thank ALL firefighters EVERYWHERE for keeping up the fight and working so very hard under such difficult conditions to protect us and our natural resources.
Please Stay Safe, well do our part and not let any more wildfires start due to human carelesness.

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