August 21, 2018

Two small forest fires contained in Heard County

Smoke can be seen here from a small 15-20 acre forest fire burning Sunday afternoon just north of Franklin. This photo was taken from the Heard County Convenience Center located on Old Field Rd.

Smoke can be seen here from a small 15-20 acre forest fire burning Sunday afternoon just north of Franklin. This photo was taken from the Heard County Convenience Center located on Old Field Rd.

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Fire Department along with the Forestry unit are battling two small blazes in wooded areas this afternoon at two separate locations in Heard County.

The largest of the fires has affected approximately 15-20 acres in an area located between Old Field Road and Franklin Parkway near the former Advantage Tactical Gun Range just north of the Franklin City limits.

Crews are currently working to keep the fire contained and according to Heard County Fire Chief Steve Wirth, no homes in the area have been affected and no injuries have been reported although one fire truck has been lost in the blaze.

The other smaller fire is located in the stateline area near Hwy 34 west and the Alabama line.

As crews battle the blaze, Chief Wirth is reminding everyone to please be cautious with any outdoor burning.

“We have extremely dry conditions in our area,” said Chief Wirth. “We ask that the public please refrain from any type of unnecessary outdoor burning until further notice.”

The Heard County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement are limiting traffic in the areas of the fires, but Chief Wirth says at this time no evacuations are necessary.

Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division declared a Level 1 drought response on Sept. 9, 2016 across 53 counties in Georgia, including Heard County.

This declaration requires water providers to educate the public about drought conditions and water conservation.

The declaration follows an extremely dry spring and summer.

According to the National Weather Service, from March through August 2016, the Atlanta area received 16.59 inches of rain – about 8.5 inches less than the 30-year average for the same six-month period.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information as it becomes available.

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