County Line Fire Update, Saturday, April 21, 2012
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.
- Fire officials offer a friendly reminder to forest users who may be going into the burned areas resulting from the County Line Fire. There may be a number of hazards remaining for months after the visible smoke and fire have disappeared. Visitors are asked to be aware of the possible danger and use good safety practices.
- Burned trees or "snags" can fall at any time. Trees that still have green needles may have had their root systems burned away and may topple over in even a slight breeze without warning. Burned branches may also fall from standing trees.
- Trees that were consumed completely in the fire leave a "stump hole" that may be invisible due to ash and dirt. This hole may be small or very large and may very easily result in a broken ankle or leg for an inattentive adventurer. These holes may also hold hot embers for a very long time period and may cause severe burns.
- The safety message is this: "Look up, look down and look all around" in order to identify potential danger and stay safe. Remember to practice safety with every visit into the burned areas and with all visits into locals forests.
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
241 personnel are on the fire. Equipment includes 22 fire engines, 11 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 continue to move through the region tonight then out of and away from the area Sunday morning bringing an end to the showers and thunderstorms. Much cooler and drier high pressure will build into the region on breezy northwesterly winds late Sunday, Monday and into Tuesday
Recent rainfall and abundant low level moisture has reduced the amount of smoke from the County Line Wildfire this weekend and significant smoke impacts are not expected around the region.. For more info, visit: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/ n=hourlyforecast