County Line Update April 18, 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.
- Fire line improvement continued today. A condition called "needle cast" has been appearing across the fire for the last few days. When the fire first passed through, it killed some trees without totally consuming them. Heat from the sun and the fire as well as the effects of the wind, dryed the needles and leaves on these now-dead trees, causing "needle cast." When this dry matter hits the ground, it will ignite, if it touches a lingering ember.
- These needles can also be moved around by the wind. Sometimes a significant fuel bed accumulates, allowing fire to grow. Even worse, the wind can carry burning needles across the fire line and start a new fire. This is one of the reasons we are working diligently to create a wide, smoke and flame-free zone around the fire.
Continue to reinforce containment lines and be alert to spot-overs and new fires.
Cause / Date Started
The fire started on Thursday, April 5. The cause was lightning.
Personnel and Equipment
286 personnel are on the fire. Equipment includes 30 fire engines, 18 dozers, and 3 helicopters.
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 Dept., Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Dept. of Transportation, Columbia County Fire Dept
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 will continue to move through the region tonight into Thursday with abundant moisture, light winds and chances of showers and thunderstorms. A strong storm system is expected to move through the Deep South Saturday and Sunday with showers and thunderstorms likely.
Based on smoke modeling at the County Line Fire Incident Command Post, we can expect to see some minimal concentrations of smoke around the immediate fire area tonight into Thursday 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. For more info, Visit: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/ n=hourlyforecast