FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
The long, hot summer of 2023 has been uncomfortable for Georgians, but for other states across the South it has been even worse. Forty-plus days of temperatures topping 100 degrees, unusually low humidity, and critically dry vegetative fuels ready to burn have led to unprecedented wildfires exhibiting extreme behavior. The levels of wildfire intensity and effects on the landscape in Louisiana and Texas have resulted in a massive interagency response, with 1,643 personnel, 6 crews, 574 pieces of equipment and 105 aircraft staged in high-priority areas.
This is the first time on record that the Southern Area has been the top national priority area for wildfire response during this time of year. According to the National Incident Management Situation Report, a synopsis of wildland fire and all-hazard activity across the country, the West has historically experienced the most critical fire activity during summer.
“The Georgia Forestry Commission has been able to support Texas and Louisiana with both equipment and personnel to help them through this critical period,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “Fortunately, Georgia wildfire activity has been below normal. When communities are in need, our dedicated employees answer the call without hesitation.”
Currently, the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) has 64 personnel and 43 bulldozers, engines, and support vehicles stationed in Texas and Louisiana. It is anticipated the GFC will be able to continue that support through September and into October.
A detailed report on the current wildfire emergency in the South from the Southern Group of State Foresters can be found here: https://southernforests.org/2023/09/08/unprecedented-heat-drought-pushing-southern-fire-danger-to-extremes/.
For information about Georgia’s current wildfire activity and prevention measures, visit https://gatrees.org/fire-prevention-suppression/fire-weather/.