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Fires pop up across county
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Two brush fires during the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 19, demonstrate the risks of burning materials in dry conditions.

Everything is dry, said Tim Satterfield, deputy chief of Dawson County Emergency Services. With all of the leaves falling and the grass so dry, the conditions can contribute to a spreading of fire.

Clark MacAllister with the Dawson County Extension Office agreed. The average November rainfall is usually 4.74 inches, he said. The last data I can get is from Oct. 6 through Nov. 6, and the total rainfall has only been 1.03 inches. Its definitely below average. MacAllister said the last major rainfall in the area was in early October.

The first brush fire that Monday was on the side of Hwy. 53 West, near Simmons Road, with the second one on Rocky Road, off Hanging Dog Road in the southern part of the county. The causes of both fires are still under investigation, said Satterfield, but so far arson is not suspected.

The one on 53, that could have been started by someone just flicking a cigarette out of their car window, he said. And the one on Rocky Road is still under investigation.

MacAllister said that, historically, the driest months in the region are September, October and November. He expects that the rainfall amounts should pick back up as winter approaches.

I think the average rainfall for December is usually just below 8 inches, he said. Normally, you could expect some more wet weather as we get further into the winter months. He did warn that, following an extreme dry spell, a heavy rain would just wash right off the ground.

Lanier Swafford, Chief with Dawson County Emergency Services, said that there were a few small brush fires in the county on Nov. 25, but that smoke reports the morning of Nov. 26 were from a wildfire burning near the Black Mountain and Springer Mountain area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The way that the winds blowing, we got a lot of the secondary smoke down here, he said.

According to a press release on the fire, the wildfire was reported on Nov. 24, with the cause still under investigation.

A small, uneventful brush fire was also reported on Carlisle Road in the early evening hours of Nov. 26.

While wet weather moved through the area Tuesday, Nov. 27, Swafford warned that more dry weather was expected in the future days. The danger is still there, he said.

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