County Line Fire Update April 20, 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.
- There was an erroneous report yesterday that the County Line Fire had escaped its containment lines and was threatening structures. In fact, the County Line Fire is currently secure within its containment lines. Two new fires were discovered and contained yesterday. These fires were NOT related to the County Line Fire. Each of these fires was attacked with both air and ground forces. The "Interstate Fire", near I-10, was contained at 1/10 acre, and the "Herbicide Fire", near Rte. 441, was contained at 5 acres.
-The threat of a new fire does not decrease because of an ongoing fire in the vicinity. Everyone should be diligent and report any fire they see through their normal local fire reporting procedures.
-Firefighters are getting closer to completing a 200 ft. wide fire and smoke free zone around the County Line Fire. However they are also prepared to respond to any new fires that start close to this fire. Yesterday's storm front brought with it 30 lightning strikes in this vicinity. We have an "Initial Attack" group within the County Line Fire team watching for any signs of a new fire start and ready to respond.
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
264 personnel are on the fire. Equipment includes 24 fire engines, 16 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 strong and complex storm system will move through the Deep South, Northern Gulf of Mexico and Florida Peninsula Saturday and Sunday with widespread showers and thunderstorms likely producing rainfall totals around an inch for the fire area. Cooler and drier air will build into the region to start the new week.
Based on smoke modeling at the County Line Fire Incident Command Post, we can expect to see only minimal concentrations of smoke around the immediate fire area tonight into Saturday 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