County Line Fire Update April 17, 2012 8:00pm
Incident: County Line Fire Wildfire
-Management of the County Line Fire was delegated to the Southern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander Michael Dueitt on Tuesday, April 10.
-The Osceola National Forest has an extensive prescribed fire program that helps prevent large wildfires. Due to ongoing drought conditions in Florida, the Forest has been unable to conduct prescribed burns as frequently as needed. This is not only contributing to the severity of the wildfire, but also to the amount of smoke being generated.
-Large dust devils have been developing daily inside the burned area of the fire during daytime heating. These turbulent winds can injure firefighters, down trees, and carry embers across fire lines. Dust devils are created as a breeze develops and swirls, due to temperature differences. Burned areas within a fire can hold residual heat and produce increased temperatures from solar heating because the ground surface is black. The dust devils usually dissipate quickly after they leave the "hot" area. Dust devils usually produce winds of 20 to 30 mph and reach heights up to 100 feet, but large dust devils are capable of producing dangerous winds of 40 to 60 mph and reaching heights of 1000 to 2,000 ft. Recently, a dust devil estimated at 2,000 ft. was seen on the County Line Fire.
Continue to reinforce, patrol, and mop-up along containment lines. Maintain to prevent spot-overs and respond to new fires.
Cause / Date Started
The fire started on Thursday, April 5. The cause was lightning.
297 personnel, 31 fire engines, 20 dozers, and 3 helicopters are on the fire.
Participating Agencies & Cooperators
USDA Forest Service, Florida Forest Service, John Bethea State Forest, The Langdale Company, Okefenokee NWR, Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners, The Forestry Company, Columbia County, Baker County, Georgia Forestry Commission, Baker Co. Fire Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida and Georgia Departments of Transportation, Columbia County Fire Department.
Restrictions and Closures
There is a Temporary Flight Restriction in place for a 7-mile radius from the fire's center up to 3,000 ft.
A weak frontal boundary is expected to stall in the region today with light southwest to southerly flow continuing over the fire area. Increasing moisture and instability will combine to produce a chance of mainly afternoon showers and thunderstorms Wednesday into Thursday.
Based on smoke modeling at the County Line Fire Incident Command Post, we can expect to see some moderate concentrations of smoke crossing into rural southern Georgia tonight into Wednesday morning. Smoke can create hazardous driving conditions, particularly in the early mornings when smoke mixes with fog. Drivers should slow down, turn on low beams and obey any advisories. Visit: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/ n=hourlyforecast