Georgia Forestry Commission Helping Fight Western Wildfires

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, August 11, 2021

 The Georgia Forestry Commission has dispatched another group of wildland firefighters to  help contain raging fires in the western United States. The latest cadre from Georgia traveled  this past weekend to the Summit Trail Fire near Inchelium, WA., where they were assigned to  various duties and posts in surrounding areas.

“Georgia is extremely grateful to the brave men and women of the Georgia Forestry  Commission for sharing their time and expertise,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. “Many  states have come to our aid in times of emergency, and it’s a privilege to be able to return the  favor,” he said.

Since June, 60 GFC personnel have responded to wildfire incidents in other states.  According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are 108 large fires currently burning  across the U.S. More than 25,200 wildland firefighters and overhead support are committed to  these incidents.

Georgia Forestry Commission personnel are highly skilled and well trained to meet  required needs of wildfire response. Agency staff that responds to incidents, including  firefighters and overhead support, must complete required training and educational courses  throughout the year to maintain their qualifications. Firefighters are held to rigorous fitness  standards, ensuring they can work 16-hour days in adverse conditions while hiking through  rugged terrain. Many Georgia crew members have served multiple assignments in previous  years, gathering valuable experience they apply away and at home.

“Georgia has been receiving a good amount of rain, which has lowered our fire danger  statewide,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “That makes it possible  for us to share personnel and resources with other states in times of need.”

Due to significant wildfire activity in multiple locations, the National Preparedness Level  was raised to Level 5 in mid-July by the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group.  Preparedness Levels are dictated by vegetative fuel, weather conditions, wildfire activity and fire  suppression resource availability. Level 5 is the highest level on the fire activity scale, and July  14 is the earliest in the year it’s been raised to 5 in a decade.

To track national wildfire news, visit https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/nfn.

For more information about the Georgia Forestry Commission’s wildland firefighters and  other services of the GFC, go to GaTrees.org.